Political cartoonist’s centre robbed twice in four days

2014-04-11 00:00

THE Centre for Fine Art Animation and Design (CFAD), founded and run by celebrated cartoonist Nanda Sooben, has been robbed twice in four days.

The first robbery at the centre’s Cowey Road premises occurred at around 5.30 am on Sunday.

“They took nine Apple Macs,” said Sooben. “Including the one I was using to work on my book commemorating 20 of years of democracy.”

Thieves struck again at around the same time yesterday morning.

On both occasions alarms were activated and the robberies captured on CCTV cameras.

“It’s when there is shift change in the security companies,” said Sooben. “The thieves know there won’t be a response.”

Six computers were stolen during the second robbery. These computers contained first-year course work that had recently been scanned into the computers. No original artwork was stolen. “There were cartoons left lying all over the place.”

Sooben’s book, Screwed – it’s not funny, takes a jaundiced view of the last 20 years. “I had to select 200 cartoons from around 3 000,” he said. “I was taking a personal view and writing up a historical synopsis for each cartoon.”

CFAD was founded in 1994 and moved to the premises on Cowey Road from the city centre four years ago.

“We thought it was getting too dangerous there.”

Sooben says the book was to be ready for publication in October and thinks he can still make that deadline.

“I just have to go through those cartoons again and re-select the ones I want to use.”

He said there had been some speculation that the robberies were politically motivated.

“I say what I think online,” he said. “And I’ve had lots of threats from political guys. But I can’t say that’s why this happened.”

Police are investigating the matter.

• Stephen.Coan@witness.co.za

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