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.
It gives one a nice warm feeling to know that Nelson Mandela is celebrating his 90th birthday today. His humility, humour, sense of forgiveness and the fact that he does not act like a saint but like a real human being stands out.
I was wondering though: what about all those other guys who were on Robben Island with Mandela, who have died or are now forgotten. Don’t they get a bit irritated that the chattering classes make such a fuss about Mandela while they do not warrant a mention?
Mandela is a remarkable man and we are an incredible lucky country to have such a leader. But many others also sacrificed to make freedom possible. We should not forget them.BACK TO TOP