home Andile's Column, Featured, News, Politics Can the Eastern Cape leadership traits be formally studied?

Can the Eastern Cape leadership traits be formally studied?

By Andile Mngxitama

As a sociologist I’m interested in understanding the underlying socio-historical factors that produce the psychology of petty criminality, deleriction of duty, refusal to take responsibility, overgrown self importance, sense of entitlement to public goods, power mongering, and lack of loyalty to one’s own community – all of which characterize the contemporary Eastern Cape leadership.

I have left out arrogance and verbosity. I’m convinced that these Eastern Cape leadership traits are now a sociological phenomenon worthy of careful study.

What are even more fascinating are the strategies of legitimation and denial which are employed. They have assumed a dexterity which makes them appear benign, if not invisible. I’m curious about this.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that other provinces don’t have some of this malaise. However the Eastern Cape seems to be the norm, not the aberration, regarding these disturbing characteristics that contemporary leadership is synonymous with.

Also note that these are not only the afflictions of the political class, almost all professionals and officials possess these traits in the Eastern Cape.

I hope that sharp minded social scientists could take an interest in the somewhat unique features of the psyche of contemporary Eastern Cape leadership.

Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization.

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