A few months ago, author William Gumede described Zuma as someone with a narcissistic personality disorder — a set of traits defined by Austrian psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut as “including an exaggerated sense of superiority, a lack of self-awareness about the impact of their behaviour and having a disdain for others, who they devalue to validate their own grandiosity”. These people lack empathy, have a distorted sense of reality and are incapable of seeing anything from anyone else’s perspective. Narcissists like Zuma, Gumede argues, can’t accept responsibility and don’t care if they take down entire countries with them. The events at Nkandla, sadly for Zuma, only reinforced that perspective.
The MRC’s Rapid Mortality Surveillance report shows that life expectancy rose 6% between 2009 and last year, from 56.5 to 60 years, reversing the downward trend that began in the 1990s as the HIV epidemic grew rapidly. Between 2009 and last year the infant mortality rate fell 25%, from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births to 30 per 1,000, and the mortality rate for those under five dropped at the same rate, from 56 per 1,000 to 42 per 1,000 over the same period. These statistics were seized upon by African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe last week to attack Mr Mbeki after the former president delivered a speech at Fort Hare University criticising South Africa’s political leadership. Mr Mantashe was notably silent about the fact that many senior ANC figures who remain in government today did little or nothing to challenge Mr Mbeki’s HIV/AIDS policies when he was president. – Tamar Kahn in BUsiness DayBACK TO TOP