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'Lady Justice' a symbol

2008-09-11 08:25

Dear Editor,

Since the Zapiro political satire cartoon depicting Jacob Zuma, his followers and the fair "Lady Justice" broke, I have read news reports with utter disgust and severe worry for the state of our country.

I enclose this short meaning of "Lady Justice":

"Lady Justice" or "Lord Justice" is also the title of judges on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. Lady Justice (Iustitia, the Roman Goddess of Justice and sometimes, simply "Justice") is an allegorical personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system.

Since the Renaissance, Justitia has frequently been depicted as a bare-breasted woman carrying a sword and scales, and sometimes wearing a blindfold. Her modern iconography, which frequently adorns courthouses and courtrooms, conflates the attributes of several goddesses who embodied Right Rule for Greeks and Romans, blending Roman blindfolded Fortuna with Hellenistic Greek Tyche." - Wikipedia

The symbol of "Lady Justice" has been around since early recording of BC history; long before racism was even a word. So if you do not know the meaning of symbols, effigy and the like do not put your narrow mindedness on stage for all too see.

A lack of education is not a stumbling block in this day and age, you are able to read, you use the internet so what is the problem? Go and gain some knowledge on the subject before commenting; it makes me embarrassed to be called a South African with such nonsense being uttered about it being racist or disrespectful to women.

For the record, I find Zapiro's satire to not be insulting or to be at fault as he is representing what he sees happening to the judiciary and to justice - this is a problem for some; the truth is hard to handle.

The comparison to the rape of "Lady Justice" has been around for centuries and no doubt will be with us for many more.

Glenn Rosslee,
East London

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Comments
  • Brian - 2008-09-11 08:36

    Let's hope the idiots in the ANC will read this.

  • Josoap - 2008-09-11 08:37

    Could not have said it better

  • nai99 - 2008-09-11 08:41

    we know that the statue is a symbol of a justice system okay, its just crass to have our ANC president shown like that, after being cleared of rape charges and please dont tell us that was not the insinuation when za-psyco printed that

  • Be realistic - 2008-09-11 08:43

    Thank you for doing your homework, I hope all SA's could learn something from this....I am a black woman for crying out loud, but I did not take any offense from the cartoon, it depicts reality...and it was just a coincidence that our soon to be President was once charged of rape...but I believe that Zapiro is very intelligent and he would have drawn the cartoon in any way even if JZ was never charged of rape before...as this is not labelling anyone a rapist literally!

  • Paul Hammann - 2008-09-11 08:44

    news.24 will probably not even post my comment, but I am so sick & tired of everyone climbing on the Zapiro band wagon now. Numerous people have publicly stated exactly what you are saying now. THIS IS OLD NEWS!!!!!! Can we pleeeeease have something new & interesting to read & discuss!

  • Michelle - 2008-09-11 08:45

    After Chris Roper's colomn yesterday, and all the comments that the cartoon is racist, I decided to have look at the newspaper again. Guess what? All the characters are shaded in the same colour!! If Malema's comments to "kill" are meant not to be taken literally, why is the rape in this case being taken so literally? It's time to paint everyone with the same brush! (meaning treat them equally - for those who are not so good with metaphors.)

  • John - 2008-09-11 08:46

    Well said Glenn. At last we hear a bit of sense about this very truthful cartoon. Unfortunately, this is what is happening to the justice system in South Africa, amongst other things.

  • Murphy - 2008-09-11 08:47

    Glenn - Education is not a requirement for politicians, nor service to the country and voters. All that matters to them is to fill their deep and greedy pockets

  • good_stuff - 2008-09-11 08:47

    Thanks for this article - people should really educate themselves before plunging themselves into ignorant outrage. The symbol of Justice could just as well have been a man. I think the cartoon was spot one. In no way does it make rape seem ok. It just says something about zuma's behaviour. Once again, educating the masses is the key.

  • Ric - 2008-09-11 08:48

    one could substitute, in the cartoon in question,Shapiro for Zuma, the Sunday Times & the DA for Gwede, Vavi & Juluis & Press Freedom for Justicia AND it would also hold true!

  • debbie - 2008-09-11 08:49

    Some people will find racism in absolutely anything. For certain people in SA, race has become an obsession. I found the cartoon harsh but true.

  • Chris - 2008-09-11 08:52

    Now Malema has come up with some new threats to try get JZ off without a trial, Zapiro really was spot on. Why does the public have no say in the matter? Based on what I've seen here there are a lot more people that would like to see JZ face justice than the people trying to "protect him". Where is the voice of the majority of South Africa?

  • Fizz - 2008-09-11 08:53

    I thought the exact same thing. You took the words right out of my mouth. Its just another excuse to play the race card. And, another opportunity for the miserable WHITE woman to play the sexist card. Why is everyone so touchy in this country. Why cant we all just get along....

  • mobs - 2008-09-11 08:53

    I support GR; people must to comparing Shapiro's cartoon to racism. But try and look at both sides of the story.

  • bob - 2008-09-11 08:54

    Now if only certain people had IQ levels that could understand this it would be fine..BUt with a country where more than half of the residence have an IQ level below 80 points ha we in trouble...Also just to point out,,,,where in the picture does it state that this is Zuma....satire is king....Julius Malema, bring it on we will fight you in trenches and we will stand up to you you little monkey boy!

  • Sinudeity - 2008-09-11 08:56

    Its typical ANC/Black South African policy to blame EVERYTHING, if you are not sided with them. Apartheid, Third Force etc. Racism happens every day. Black AND white, yet, just the white on black racism derives outbursts. White folks are the MINORITY. WE are the ones being targetted by torturing murderers and brigands. Get off your HIGH HORSES.

  • halitosis_for_all - 2008-09-11 08:56

    ... for providing a reference point that is clearly needed. Still, people see what they want to see, unfortunately.

  • colin - 2008-09-11 08:56

    It does not matter in how many words or languages you try to explain this it still is an improper image which was plastered in a national newspaper for all to view even by my 6 year of daughter. Most complains I read were not the fact that Justice was depicted as a female but the fact the RAPE was used to convey the message. RAPE is a sensitive issue in our country and we should not use it in such an improper manner - if Zapiro was a RAPE victim do you think he would have used this image I think not. Morals and responsibility in this age are last on the to-do list of our media or I think they have lost the meaning of these 2 words. Not a Zuma supporter and have never voted for the ANC.

  • Point Blank - 2008-09-11 08:57

    It is why it is so important to get a education and to research facts before uttering ignorant and misinformed statements. South Africa is full of that at the moment, people making sweeping statements without fact or knowledge of the subject on hand, almost as a tit for tat response and it is causing untold damage.

  • Speedy - 2008-09-11 08:58

    I like it. Glen great article it is unfortunate the racists wont see the truth but will remain blinded by their own hatred.

  • Speedy - 2008-09-11 08:58

    I like it. Glen great article it is unfortunate the racists wont see the truth but will remain blinded by their own hatred.

  • Speedy - 2008-09-11 08:58

    I like it. Glen great article it is unfortunate the racists wont see the truth but will remain blinded by their own hatred.

  • Speedy - 2008-09-11 08:58

    I like it. Glen great article it is unfortunate the racists wont see the truth but will remain blinded by their own hatred.

  • Fraud - 2008-09-11 08:58

    Yes, Zapiro might be spot on in terms of the message (depending on ur political views and/or race). And using the rape metaphor is not wrong. We just need to think about the effect a picture has. Saying the words "Zuma is raping the justice system" is totally different from actually showing a woman being pinned down by 4 men, and Zuma getting ready to rape the woman. Words and pictures will always have different effects. For a woman who has been gang raped or has been affected by gang rape, seeing the picture would be much worse than hearing "Zuma is raping the justice system". You know, a lack of logic is not a stumbling block in this day and age...:-)

  • Paulus - 2008-09-11 08:59

    Zapiro merely pictured was is happening in SA The truth surely hurts!! When will the ANC open their eyes. They are following in the footsteps of the rest af Africa, total political unstability! SA was a country to be reconed with, but they have messed it up.

  • Fraud - 2008-09-11 08:59

    Yes, Zapiro might be spot on in terms of the message (depending on ur political views and/or race). And using the rape metaphor is not wrong. We just need to think about the effect a picture has. Saying the words "Zuma is raping the justice system" is totally different from actually showing a woman being pinned down by 4 men, and Zuma getting ready to rape the woman. Words and pictures will always have different effects. For a woman who has been gang raped or has been affected by gang rape, seeing the picture would be much worse than hearing "Zuma is raping the justice system". You know, a lack of logic is not a stumbling block in this day and age...:-)

  • motlatsi - 2008-09-11 08:59

    Let us not resort to intellectualism to defend an abominable deed. We are incensed because the figure involved is Jacob Zuma: depiction of rape, whether real or imagined is not something that we ought to take lightly. The point Zapiro was making is well taken but there are other metaphors that could have achieved the same objective.

  • Martin - 2008-09-11 09:00

    Good one Glen, you will however still have people criticizing you for your piece on lady justice, the Jabu?s and Kolobe?s of the world will do just that, no matter how much you explain to these idiots the meaning behind the symbol it will never stick, you see the brain capacity of these individuals are limited. The minority will always be blamed for their lack of initiative and ability. Justice means nothing for the ANC, ANCYL, Cosatu and the so called alliance, Look at what happened yesterday in Pietermaritzburg, they did the typical this that the entire Africa is used to, barbarism and savagery, this is a day in the park for the people of Africa.

  • Martin - 2008-09-11 09:00

    Good one Glen, you will however still have people criticizing you for your piece on lady justice, the Jabu?s and Kolobe?s of the world will do just that, no matter how much you explain to these idiots the meaning behind the symbol it will never stick, you see the brain capacity of these individuals are limited. The minority will always be blamed for their lack of initiative and ability. Justice means nothing for the ANC, ANCYL, Cosatu and the so called alliance, Look at what happened yesterday in Pietermaritzburg, they did the typical this that the entire Africa is used to, barbarism and savagery, this is a day in the park for the people of Africa.

  • Martin - 2008-09-11 09:00

    Good one Glen, you will however still have people criticizing you for your piece on lady justice, the Jabu?s and Kolobe?s of the world will do just that, no matter how much you explain to these idiots the meaning behind the symbol it will never stick, you see the brain capacity of these individuals are limited. The minority will always be blamed for their lack of initiative and ability. Justice means nothing for the ANC, ANCYL, Cosatu and the so called alliance, Look at what happened yesterday in Pietermaritzburg, they did the typical this that the entire Africa is used to, barbarism and savagery, this is a day in the park for the people of Africa.

  • Juan - 2008-09-11 09:01

    But SOME people are just too plain STUPID to understand the concept of a 'metaphor'!

  • tshepo - 2008-09-11 09:01

    I agree, that drawing is not racist at all. Zapiro was on point this time. The ANC, SACP are actively RAPING the judiciary. What the heck is a "political solution" to a criminal offence? It doesnt matter how long the case takes, the legal system is not called the "long arm for law" for nothing.

  • Alice - 2008-09-11 09:02

    Glen it's good to see that you have what you think is an impresive take on iconography & symbols. What escapes you however is that not everybody has access to internet and even then when people receive information it is filtered by so many things beliefs, culture etc. As a woman that cartoon sent chills down my spine by the sheer brutal and very vivid implication of it. Your historical lesson as factual as it may be, has very little relevance to the immediate assault of the cartoon eye!

  • Kolobe - 2008-09-11 09:03

    Is this suppose to be the wikipedia class of something, this idiot went to study history and dictionary and now he wants to enlighten us about the meaning of Justice, We know justice and it does not need to be used as an agenda to promote propagandas, why is Zapiro not depicting Scott Crossly as raping and even killing the Justice System, Zapiro is a rascist, when whites shoot down blacks in a confusion he is depicting them, that?s the reason I don?t buy the Sunday times anymore.

  • Sinudeity - 2008-09-11 09:05

    There will be a big party thrown tomorrow, if the 'sober' judge does NOT drop the charges against Zuma. We will be CELEBRATING justice being on track. Democracy is NOT dead. The offer is extended to all ANCYL members too. As a way to say, no hard feelings.

  • Paul Montele - 2008-09-11 09:05

    Well you have tried to justify that distasteful cartoon but fact of the matter is rape in this country like other violent crimes is unacceptable high & for Zapiro to have choosen that cartoon instead decipting of his newspaper trying to shift attention from the blunders that they have been doing with his team is wrong, they are currently the worst Mampara, anyway i have always mentioned that the Media was briefed(of the record briefings) by former NPA boss to to vilify others & they r continuing.

  • heading for a fall - 2008-09-11 09:05

    The only ones complaining, are those who themselves, are also raping the justice system, by supporting these 'rapists' of our Country and it's people. To expect anything less from them, would just be silly. Look around you...

  • Lithium - 2008-09-11 09:06

    ...to start worrying about the state of our country. As someone once said: "my volk het 'n hoer geword"

  • Pete - 2008-09-11 09:08

    The only objective of the cartoon was to make a statement, but Zapiro used relevant, not stereotypical metaphors such as crime (against women), abuse (of the legal system), arrogance (of leaders), etc. It takes quite an imagination to see it as dealing in either sexist or racist commentary. It also achieved its objective and got people talking about the past and continuing behaviors of those who seek to lead our country.

  • Sinudeity - 2008-09-11 09:08

    Your racism card was banished, now you're on the 'irresponsible media' card. Your comments yesterday were bat$h17 crazy and irrational. You aren't Zizi from the ANCYL in disguise right?

  • kwk - 2008-09-11 09:09

    Zapiro would have been criticised whichever way he would have chosen to depict the raping of the justice system.(and yes the most appropriate term is "rape",Zuma's personal history with such charges is incidental).If Zapiro had depicted justice as a man, child or animal, Zuma's supporters would hardly have been happier.Zapiro's sin was that he dared to say that Zuma and his friends were trying to dishonour (<--see what I mean?) the justice system.

  • True Blue SA - 2008-09-11 09:09

    What more do you expect from the brainless massess led by the Malema idiot and the Vavi idiot..........Malema and Vavia are good at mass hysteria, and play on the massess who have not got a clue as to what is going on around them.

  • Cape Town Kid - 2008-09-11 09:10

    This is such a problem for the apologists. When you sell a perception that black men are a bunch of rapists who have scant regard for defenceless women, its rascism! The depiction goes back to what has been sold to the likes of you about blacks in general.Becos Shapiro helped in the struggles doesnt mean he is non-rascist. Cmon, why do u have so many colords in CT? They are a result of rascists who called them slave during the day and lovie at nite! Did that stop their rascist practises?

  • Africanson - 2008-09-11 09:10

    Glenn, thanks for helping many of our people who were not aware of this, but the honest truth is that the ANC&Alliance have always been aware of this. Majority of Black lawyers in this country are they members. Malema made it very clear yesterday:they have a political agenda that they pursuing and they will eliminate anybody who tries to be an obstruction. In essence what i am trying to say is that, they have deliberatetly misinterepreted Zapiro's message in pursuit of their political agenda.

  • Jan - 2008-09-11 09:11

    " Let us not resort to intellectualism...."..motlatsi Um, ok. You go baaa like a sheep in front of court. pathetic.

  • Sinudeity - 2008-09-11 09:11

    WHY otherwise, would you so actively try and BLOCK zuma's courtcase? You dont buy the Sunday times, because you read the Soweto sun. You list ONE case were a white dude kills a black dude, but FAIL to mention the EXCESS of white folks murdered by black folks EVERY SINGLE FRIGGIN day.

  • Jason - 2008-09-11 09:12

    When you read every message the cartoon gives out it exactly what?s been done to the country. The villains been shown in this cartoon are terrorizing us to bend to the will of these few individuals. I believe the Cartoon has nothing to do with woman but the justice system. People who say its disrespectful to woman are not looking at the bigger picture. P.S. To terrorize or threatening to terrorize is terrorism not blackmail. It?s like ?quiet diplomacy? when it should be ?ignoring the problem"

  • Michelle - 2008-09-11 09:14

    You often mention your 6 year old daughter. While the cartoon may be a bit graphic for that age, you do need to be warning your daughter against rape!! There are many child rapes happening in this counrty. Use this to enlighten and equip your child to deal with it! My 7 year old daughter knows the term rape from the news and I've told her (the basic's) of what it is and used that to educate her!

  • I have a dream.... - 2008-09-11 09:14

    Can't wait for you to not read News24 anymore. And not to hear your whining...always taking the black side, no matter how wrong it is. You should really get a life man.

  • Tom - 2008-09-11 09:15

    Figuratively it is not only the justice system that is being raped. Just about every department and major institution are showing signs of this. Is the ANC really capable of effectively running and uplifting the whole country?

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