South African Cartoonist Takes on ANC President

ANC President, Jacob Zuma, was recently back in the headlines as his trial on charges for corruption, amongst other things, was thrown out of court to the dismay of many South Africans but also to the cheer of his millions of supporters, particularly from parties allied to the ANC. Parallel to this, Jonathan Shapiro a.k.a. Zapiro, South Africa's foremost political cartoonist had Zuma in his sights as he published a controversial cartoon in the Sunday Times (from Waiting in Transit):

This has got to be one of the baddest cartoons I’ve ever seen and I am sure that Zapiro’s going to get in trouble with the protagonists in the cartoon, if he hasn’t already. The thing is, even though I sort of cringe at the story unfolding in the cartoon, it rings true. The thought ( or the concept) has crossed my mind a few times about Zuma and I know the same thought has crossed the minds of many others. Zapiro, utilising his creative licence just put those thoughts into pictures.

Another reason why I’m one of Zapiro’s biggest fans

The cartoon has prompted Zuma to publicly condemn the cartoon and he has threatened to sue Zapiro. Zapiro doesn't seem to have been phased by Zuma's comments as Waiting in Transit also did a follow-up post – “Zapiro's Double-Whammy on Zuma” in which he covers Zapiro's second cartoon which wasn't covered by most media…

Zapiro’s at it again today with this absolute gem, given the current fight launched against him by the protagonists in his first cartoon. Well, here they are again with another satirical Zapiro-style hit.

Glass Pearl Marketing shows their support for Zapiro…

By 6.15 am though I was wide awake when Aden Thomas mentioned a new controversial Zapiro cartoon published in the Sunday Times, on Cape Talk.
It is so good to know that someone out there is brave enough to take on Zuma and his supporters on a level that is as base and crass as they are.
Well done Zapiro!

In The News has an interesting point of view on it…

It seems like there is no getting ANC President, Jacob Zuma out of the news headlines these days. This past weekend, cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro who publishes under the pen name Zapiro released a cartoon showing Zuma unzipping his trousers while his alliance partners hold down the Lady of Justice and egg him on suggesting that Zuma is about to “rape” justice. As most had expected when they saw this cartoon in the Sunday Times, Zuma was not going to take this cartoon lightly and it is suggested that he is going to sue Zapiro. Zuma would be suing Zapiro for defamation. This would not be the first time as in the past Zapiro published cartoons of Zuma after his acquital on charges of rape in 2006.

It looks like this latest tussle between Zuma and Zapiro is headed to the courts. Zapiro has since come out and said after the cartoon was published, “I stand by the cartoon and I won’t apologise. If he does decide to sue me, then I will fight it.”

If you have not seen the cartoon yet, click here to see it and let us know what you think. Is this cartoon wrong? Should Zapiro be sued for this? Is the ANC right to say this cartoon is wrong? Many questions are being thrown around. Let us hear from you.

According to Pierre De Vos the metaphor of rape used by Zapiro was inappropriate:

Perhaps one could still argue that a cartoonist may use the metaphor of rape in his cartoons to address a situation that he sees as dangerous and immoral – although I am not a woman and have never been raped, so maybe I am not the best one to judge this point. The metaphor of rape is definitely a powerful one – especially in a country like South Africa where so many woman have been and continue to be raped.

But I do wonder whether by using the metaphor of rape, Zapiro is not cheapening the horror of rape and – given our deeply patriarchal and sexist society – is not helping to desensitize us to this scourge. In a society where many men still see woman as something to be owned, I worry that this kind of cartoon might somehow send a signal to some men that rape is not such a bad thing.

Another cartoonist, The Paper Boy, comes up with an interesting cartoon of his own showing the battle between Zuma and Zapiro.

South Africa – A local editorial cartoon artist with International Awards, Jonathan Shapiro AKA ‘Zapiro’ raised the fury of the President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma. (with a cartoon published in a National Newspaper – The Sunday Times.)

Here’s another take on the event, after all it’s not often lowly cartoonists receive such public recognition from the high office of public servants, ergh read politicians… View the offending cartoon here

… and finally, I Luv Sa, but… has just recently put up a piece commenting how the cartoon has increased the governments attempt to censor the media…

You liked the Zapiro cartoon recently, yes? The ANC is pressing ahead with a Bill that will outlaw cartoons like the one from Zapiro.
These are people that preach hatred and threaten to kill but woe betide anybody who draws a silly cartoon picture or writes something that throws muck back at them. Suddenly they scream ‘we need censorship!’
Too bad we can't get a Bill that prevents morons from speaking in public. The country could do with the quiet.

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