‘Poor Shaik’ needs anger help

2011-03-19 18:50

Convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik should consider attending an anger management class to bring his infamous temper under control, psychologists say.

Malose Langa, a clinical psychologist at Wits University, said Shaik is “a bitter man who is obviously bruised”.

In the past two weeks he has ­allegedly assaulted two people: Sunday Tribune reporter Amanda Khoza while playing golf, and a ­fellow worshipper after Friday prayers at his local mosque.

In December 2009 a “terminally ill” Shaik swore at a City Press photographer who filmed him at a shop in apparent breach of his ­parole, saying: “Jou ma se p**s.”

Shaik was paroled on medical grounds in 2009 after serving two years and four months of a 15-year sentence for fraud and corruption.

Three behavioural experts concur that Shaik’s actions require ­intervention.

Langa said Shaik’s reported behaviour needed to be addressed.

“The behaviour of a person who needs anger management is difficult to decipher, but there are pointers that people need to look out for,” said Langa.

“Angry people find it difficult to relate to other people and it is ­important to consider anger management before further damage is caused.”

Langa said people with anger ­issues lose their temper easily and have no sense of remorse.

Langa emphasised that Shaik’s situation was complex and needed to be looked at in the broader ­context.

“We should remember that the media was involved in exposing his corrupt activities related to the arms deal, and his assault on the journalist was probably partly as a result of that.

“He might have been fed up with journalists writing about him and decided to hit back,” Langa said.

“But in general Shaik can be seen as someone who is very angry, and anger management might be just the therapy he needs.”

Langa said people in Shaik’s ­position first had to admit that they had a problem, before they could be helped.

Shelton Kartun, founder of the Anger and Stress Management Centre of South Africa, said the problem could be fixed but it required commitment from the ­people involved.

“Anger is not a mental condition but has to do with behaviour.

It is what you do when you are angry that is the problem.”

Kartun said Shaik’s recent outbursts showed signs of someone harbouring a great deal of anger.

“He had a lot of control and power and thought he was above the law,” Kartun said.

“You might be wealthy, but if you cannot manage your anger you would be left feeling lonely.”

He said some people’s anger was triggered when they felt they were not being respected.

“It is mostly people whose value systems do not include respecting others who find themselves acting out of anger.

“They are driven by a misplaced need to teach others a lesson.”

Kartun said if it was left unattended, anger could manifest in ill health and affect people adversely.

“Our anger management programme has a success rate of 95%, but it is important to note that there are no quick fixes,” he said.

Clinical and industrial psychologist Richard Oxtoby said there was nothing wrong with being angry, since it was only natural.

“What is wrong is inappropriate actions when we are angry,” he ­explained.

Oxtoby said that if reports about Shaik’s behaviour were true, he “most certainly” needed anger management therapy.

“I suspect he knows that is not how good people behave,” Oxtoby said.

“The poor man needs help.”

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