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.
But the problem was wider than the status of teaching, [Nomalanga] Mkhize maintained, and came down to the general value of education. How was it, Mkhize asked, that “education came to be treated with such disrespect and disdain by the educated black professionals who administer it and why on earth was there no parents’ uprising?” One reason for the devaluing of education could be that “other forms of social advancement, particularly political association”, now offer a quicker route to improve the class prospects of black people than education does. This is a point that University of the Free State Rector Jonathan Jansen also made last year; a problem, he says, is that there is now “a visible lack of connection between education and economic well-being” in many communities. – Report by Rebecca Davis of Daily Maverick on Education in South AfricaBACK TO TOP