Guest Column

Is Molefe pathological?

2017-05-28 05:58
Brian Molefe breaks down during his media address on the State of Capture report last year, where he famously said there was a shebeen in Saxonwold, where the Guptas live, explaining his many visits to the area. Picture: Leon Sadiki

Brian Molefe breaks down during his media address on the State of Capture report last year, where he famously said there was a shebeen in Saxonwold, where the Guptas live, explaining his many visits to the area. Picture: Leon Sadiki

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China Dodovu

More than a century and a quarter ago, specifically in 1891, German author Anton Delbrueck published in medical literature a controversial topic about pathological lying, which he explained as an act of both knowingly and intentionally or willfully making a false statement.

Delbrueck explained that pathological liars usually tell dazzling or fantastic stories and never breach the limits of plausibility, which is key to their tactics. He asserted that they have a chronic fabrication tendency which is not provoked by the immediate situation or social pressure so much as it is an innate trait of their personality.

Delbrueck argued that pathological liars tend towards presenting favourable stories and “decorating their own person” by telling stories that present them as heroes or victims. They are fond of being presented as fantastically brave, as knowing or being related to powerful or famous people, or as having great power, intelligence or success.

To round off his treatise, Delbrueck concluded that pathological liars may also present a false memory syndrome, where sufferers genuinely make up fictitious and imagined events or that they have accomplished superhuman feats and awe-inspiring acts of altruism – or have committed equally grandiose acts of diabolical evil for which they must atone in their fantasies.

Deceit and lies

Now, since the release of the Public Protector’s State of Capture report in October 2016, from all his words and actions, Brian Molefe has become our modern-day Goebbels, and thrives on deceit and lies.

The report has revealed his hidden tendency to spin for survival and ascendency to higher echelons. He has become a person who seems to be living in a fantasy world with everything he says being false, fictitious, manipulated or exaggerated.

The State of Capture report revealed that Molefe and Ajay Gupta, the eldest of three Gupta brothers, made 58 telephone calls to each other between August 2015 and March 2016 and cellphone tracking shows that Molefe was at or near the Guptas’ Saxonwold home 19 times between August and November 2015.

The report stated that the time frame of interactions between Molefe and the Guptas coincided with the acquisition of the Optimum coal mine by the Gupta-owned Tegeta and its prepayment of more than R600m that Eskom had approved for coal supply.

Molefe has failed to explain the alleged tender manipulations and, despite the evidence and logic which corroborates the Public Protector’s report, Molefe flatly denied this and is famously quoted as saying: “There is a shebeen there, I think it’s two streets away. I didn’t tell my young wife that there is a shebeen.”

The existence and location of a shebeen in the Saxonworld upper-class residential area remains a mystery only known to Molefe who, instead of giving cogent explanations, cried deeply.

In a bizarre act of rigging ANC membership procedures, in February 2017 Molefe steadily upped his lying antics by conniving with the North West leaders to take up a post as a member of Parliament (MP) with a hope to ascend to finance minister.

Despite irrefutable evidence which cost an FNB employee a job and a clear confirmation by the Tshwane ANC region that Molefe was its member, he insisted that he was registered in North West and even produced faked and forged records.

When he shockingly went back to Eskom as its head, had Molefe suddenly forgotten that he had been sworn in as an MP? Is it out of naivety or intent that he ignores his oath of office when he lies that he didn’t resign from Eskom? Does he know the implications of lying in a court of law?

The point is that according to section 47 of the Constitution, when Molefe was sworn in as an MP and took an oath, whether he resigned from Eskom or was on unpaid leave or took early retirement as he lied in court papers, he has no right to return to Eskom as its chief executive officer.

How can Molefe lie so much?

Molefe’s lies are similar to those of Judge Patrick Couwenberg, a Superior Court Judge of California, who lied repeatedly while in office. The judge maintained the lies that he was a university graduate, a wounded war veteran and a CIA operative in the 1960s. All of these were easily identified by his peers as sheer lies. He was later removed for “wilful and prejudicial misconduct”.

In his crusade as a compulsive liar, Molefe doesn’t think that his steps will be traced and that he will be ultimately caught like Couwenberg. With these clear-cut lies, he suffers from an inability to consider the consequences of his behaviour or even fear being caught, thinking he is smarter than everyone.

The sad part about the Molefe episode is not so much that he has tarnished what many think is his indisputable track record of excellence, but he lacks foresight as he has allowed himself to be used as a pliable instrument to plunder state resources in unforgivable ways.

With the latest court shenanigans, it is clear that guilt, shame, or regret do not bother Molefe at all. He doesn’t even realise that he has once more unleashed a political firestorm of massive proportions.

Our failure to express our collective, unequivocal disgust at Molefe and the Eskom board can only advance an obnoxious view that we are either numb and unintelligent or we are helplessly surrendering our being to such erratic individuals.

I refuse to accept that we can allow liars such as Molefe to obfuscate and manipulate us in such a despicable manner.

Under our watch, we must not allow Molefe with his devious manoeuvres to pull the wool over our eyes and think we are so naive that we cannot see his malicious intentions to advance a nefarious nuclear deal.

How can Molefe lie so much? Why is he taking our country to the gutter levels of mediocrity and farce? Does he need psychotherapy? With these obviously transparent lies, has Molefe reached the pathological apex of lying, as Delbruecks defined it?

Only time will tell.

Dodovu is executive director ofthe Aim27 Foundation

Do you think Brian Molefe can still redeem himself by coming clean? Has SA had enough of him?

SMS us on 35697 using the keyword MOLEFE. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50

Read more on:    eskom  |  brian molefe  |  lynne brown
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