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Why Jacob Zuma believes he’s blameless – it’s a mental condition

By Alec Hogg

It’s 40 years since the late Scott Peck penned his masterful book The Road Less Travelled. Of the thousands I’ve read, this one is very firmly in my Top Five, hardly a surprise given it sold 10m worldwide. The book’s lessons are timeless. And, for South Africans, particularly apt as a nation tries to make sense of how they tolerated such a flawed president for so long.

Peck was a Harvard-trained psychiatrist who spent more than a decade in the US Military before going into private practice. Of the hundreds of convicts he worked with, none admitted to having done wrong – from rapists to murderers, fraudsters to thugs, all rationalised their behaviour, shifting blame onto others.

Peck wrote: “Since [narcissists] deep down, feel themselves to be faultless, it is inevitable that when they are in conflict with the world they will invariably perceive the conflict as the world’s fault. Since they must deny their own badness, they must perceive others as bad. They project their own evil onto the world.”

Remind you of anyone?

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