Zizi Kodwa to Primedia: If you do this again ...

2014-05-30 13:53

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They will “close the building” if media house Primedia continues to depict the ANC as it did in the Congress of Clowns cartoon, ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa has warned.

“We will come here in our numbers to express our disgust and outrage,” he said at the company’s offices in Sandton, Joburg, today.

Kodwa was joined by more than 60 ANC supporters who picketed outside the offices after a cartoon depicting various ANC ministers and supporters as clowns appeared on the Eyewitness News (EWN) website.

The ANC has accused Primedia of racism and insulting its supporters.

The protesters stood outside the entrance of the building under police guard as they sang and carried posters, which read: “Racism equals to Holocaust”.

Among the protesters was a young mother who brought her nine-month-old son along. She said she brought along her “little comrade”, whom she draped in an ANC T-shirt, because one day he’d join the party.  “I don’t think the cartoon is racist but it is very offensive,” she said.

Kodwa said the protest was a caution to Primedia and other media houses that crossing the boundaries of freedom of expression would not go unnoticed.

After an hour-and-a-half of picketing, members of Primedia management addressed the protesters.

Roger Jardine, Primedia group chief executive, apologised and said the cartoon was not intended to offend.

“It would be quite foolish to assume that this cartoon deliberately set out to insult a whole group of people,” he said.

Jardine said management would take time to reflect on the matter and decide on the necessary action.

“I think this morning shows that besides bad interpretation, we all have the right to express ourselves. So I want to thank you for coming this morning to tell us how you feel about this cartoon.”

Kodwa said they accepted Primedia’s apology.

“I’m happy that the chief executive came out and repeated the apology. It signals a progress to something that we thought was an insult to millions of voters who voted for the ANC. We can’t be revengeful. If people apologise and the apology is genuine then we will accept it,” said Kodwa.

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