Opinion: 3 brothers from India have captured our state and bribed us with our own money

Andile Mngxitama and his fellow troublemakers, Black First Land First (BLF), have caused enough trouble to warrant a diagnosis of this notorious gang.

That they are attention-seekers is obvious. Attention-seeking is not necessarily bad. It is our nature to want others to see and distinguish us.

Attention-seeking lies at the heart of the concept of personality. If you are indistinguishable, you have no personality, and therefore you are deficient in your being human.

But Mngxitama and his gang are not human in the normal sense. They are the types driven by an exaggerated hunger for attention. This kind of phenomenon is bigger than normal personality, hence we must analyse it separately.

Historically, psychologists have studied gangs like BLF from the point of view of seeking to explain their criminal intent. Predictably, such studies yielded very little. They merely dismiss these types of gangs as a manifestation of the psychology of bandits.

It is the penetrative mind of respected French psychologist Gustave Le Bon that finally dug deep into the roots of the psychology behind BLF. He looked at them from a radical group perspective, not narrowly from a criminal gang perspective. The findings of Le Bon's inquiry are contained in his 1895 ground-breaking book, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. This is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand Mngxitama.

We have all been wondering: what kind of human beings are these? Here is Le Bon's answer: "They are especially recruited from the ranks of those morbidly nervous, excitable, half-deranged persons who are bordering on madness."

Le Bon does go further to explain why groups like BLF are very stubborn: "However absurd may be the idea they uphold or the goal they pursue, their convictions are so strong that all reasoning is lost upon them. Contempt and persecution do not affect them, or only serve to excite them the more."

Hardly minutes after a judge ruled that the BLF must desist from intimidating journalists had Mngxitama said "no judge or court" will stop them from pursuing their absurd goal. That is how impervious to reason they are. Mngxitama went further to say they are "prepared to pay the ultimate price". The "ultimate price" means death.

Those of us who are not mad wonder: What exactly does Mngxitama want to die for?

We black people are unfortunate. Every half-deranged person finds it easy to pontificate as our spokesperson. Suddenly, Mngxitama is our spokesperson. When, exactly, did we elect him? It is very rare for a madman to wake up one morning and declare himself the spokesperson for white people.

Even coloured people don't tolerate a lunatic who claims to speak on their behalf.

Our high tolerance for absurdity as blacks is known even by foreigners. Three brothers from the poor and backward Indian state of Uttar Pradesh came to our country in the 1990s.

They plotted to capture our state, to bribe us with our own money, and mobilised a private defence squad from among our ranks. They gave their private army the name "BLF".

The Indian brothers read the history of black people long before they came here. They knew that in the 15th century, our kings and chiefs sold their own people to slave traders who came from the Americas.

We know now that these African kings were bribed with useless artefacts like mirrors and spoons - to sell their people. The Indian brothers knew that in the 21st century a mirror is no longer enough to bribe even a madman. That is why they plotted to loot money from us and use a portion of their loot to pay a gang of half-deranged blacks who are bordering on madness to cause mayhem among us.

The question is: What must South Africans do with a notorious gang like the BLF?

Given the torment to which they continue to subject our nation, some might wish that the mad demons that drove biblical pigs into the sea could do the same to Mngxitama and his gang. It is a pity that the BLF operates in Gauteng, where there is no sea.

If our state was not captured, it would be easy to arrest these disturbers of our national soul, and let them rot in jail. Sadly, we have to live with their madness until the captured state has fallen - only God knows when!

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