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.
Quotas and targets for redress are necessary. But, because they are so politically useful, securing as they do the compliance and loyalty of elites and the middle class to the ANC, it is easy to be blinded to the negative consequences for the poor. A clear case of a good quota that will have positive long term outcomes is UCTs admission criteria, which is succeeding in producing more black and women graduates who will service society well in the coming decades. But the negative consequences of misapplied quotas and targets are also with us. – Jack Lewis at GroundUpBACK TO TOP