Paper, Zapiro stand by Zuma cartoon

2011-06-13 14:21

Cape Town - The Mail and Guardian said on Monday that it stands by its publication of Zapiro’s latest controversial cartoon which the ANC might take legal action against.

On Sunday, the governing party’s spokesperson Brian Sokutu said that it is seeking legal advice and is considering laying charges over the cartoon, which appeared in the June 10 2011 edition of the newspaper.
In the cartoon, President Jacob Zuma, with the word “govt” written on his side, is seen unbuckling his belt while Gwede Mantashe, with ANC written on his side, pushes a woman with a sash reading “Freedom of Speech” and a torch in her hand, towards him.

On the side lies another woman, blindfolded with scales at her side and her dress torn, and shouting “FIGHT SISTER, FIGHT”.

Already facing lawsuit

The blindfolded woman seemingly represents Lady Justice and is a reference to the 2008 cartoon of Zuma preparing to rape her while members of the ANC and its alliance partners held her down.

Zapiro, whose real name is Jonathan Shapiro, is already facing a defamation of character lawsuit for that cartoon - The Rape of Lady Justice - of R5m.

The Mail and Guardian’s editor Nic Dawes told News24 that the newspaper will not apologise for Zapiro’s latest cartoon and will not retract it either.

“The cartoon was strong, tough and disturbing and [an] attempt to deal with a disturbing [issue],” Dawes said.

Isn’t it ironic?

He said he found it ironic that the ANC was seeking legal action about a cartoon regarding freedom of speech.

The ANC’s Sokutu, however, did not see the irony.

He said that while the ANC “subscribes to freedom of speech and freedom of expression, “the cartoon was in bad taste and undermines the dignity of [President] Zuma.

“It borders on defamation of character and is a gross abuse of freedom of speech [and] is not in line with journalistic ethics.

“We are not against him [Zapiro] expressing himself, we are against the depiction [of Zuma].”

Iconic symbols

Zapiro, meanwhile, said that while he wasn’t officially informed of the ANC’s complaint regarding the matter, he takes the drawing of the cartoons very seriously.

“It is a no-brainer that the cartoon is metaphorical”, he added.

“These are iconic symbols of justice and freedom of speech that have been around for hundreds of years,” he said, in reference to the women in the drawings.

He warned that, with the proposed protection of information bill to which he is referring in the cartoon, he sees the nation “on a slippery slope towards authoritarian rule”.

In addition to the R5m lawsuit, Shapiro is facing another R2m lawsuit from Zuma for a 2006 cartoon.

  • Momus - 2011-06-13 14:28

    Satire my friends is a sign of a civilised society. When you sign up for the job .... you don't do undignified things like sue cartoonists. Well done Zapiro! BTW that's not some cue for the rabid News24 race hatemongers to all show us how uncivilised they are either - free speech or not!

      saabnut - 2011-06-13 14:34

      I think Momus deserves a Bells!

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-06-14 08:59

      Don't you just love the fact that the spokesperson doesn't get the irony.... You'd think with the bad press they deal with on a day to day basis they could employ better media relations. Agreed Momus - If you don't like cartoons of you raping Freedom Of Speech and Lady Justice then don't rape Freedom Of Speech and Justice. In 30 - 40 years from now these cartoons will be in museums across the world as a true representation of 2000's South Africa

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-06-14 09:01

      Oh BTW - Thank you Zapiro & Mail&Guardian!

      REALIST - 2011-06-14 12:27

      Go Mail and Guardian! My subscription is on it's way! A big thank you to Zapiro for telling it like it is! The ANC government is up to NO good and the sheer audacity they have to want to deploy this Bill boggles the mind! It is as plain as the nose on Zuma's face, that this will only serve to hide more of their idiotic mistakes and corruption! If you cannot see this you must be blind!It's time the honest, hardworking, level headed people in this country make themselves heard...

      Threelions23 - 2011-06-14 13:12

      But Zuma will sit next to Malema while he chants to Kill the White man and how we are all criminals.... What a shocker!!!

      Creeky - 2011-06-14 15:47

      Jonathan Shapiro knows how to depict the current situation in South Africa like NO ONE ELSE!!! You see, what the rest feel! Hats off to you Sir, for you are a TRUE ARTIST!!!!!

      capetonian - 2011-06-14 16:59

      If this was the UK, JZ would raise even more satire! But of course here criticism of ANC politicians is viewed in a very negative light. He doesn't seem to understand that he asks for it! Perhaps it's the old tribal thing......

      George - 2011-06-14 17:36

      What i hate about Zapiro is when he backed down after the muslim uproar over his cartoons depicting mohammed. If he is so principled why did he back down? I am sure he was afraid of being matyred.

  • Heinrich - 2011-06-13 14:28

    Lekke Zapiro, you go boy!!!!!

  • saabnut - 2011-06-13 14:29

    The truth hurts! Well done Jonathan -some good, accurate, candid 'reporting'...

  • The All Seeing Eye - 2011-06-13 14:30

    Rage Rage against the Banna Republic. Do not go gentle into that fruit salad.

      camelthief - 2011-06-14 13:09

      Ha ha!! very good, I'm going to steal that one from you

      Snowcap - 2011-06-14 13:32

      Brilliant. Excellent. One satire begets another. (by the way, 'gently' would be better than gentle - have a nice day)

      AnnaBanana - 2011-06-14 14:03

      @Snowcap - sorry to budge in here, but The All Seeing Eye was 'quoting' a poem from Dylan Thomas named 'Do not go gentle into that good night' - so even though the correct verb is 'gently', in this context 'gentle' is correct.

  • Allin - 2011-06-13 14:30

    "Zuma" and "dignity" are two words that should never be mentioned in the same sentence, unless the latter s preceded by "total lack of"

      Matt - 2011-06-13 14:56

      Darn you sir, I was going to say exactly that... ;-) Bell's for you!

      50something - 2011-06-13 15:05

      Agree - dignity equals respect - and you have to earn that

      cliffarc - 2011-06-13 15:11

      - Zuma himself is entirely responsible for the loss of his own dignity, self- defamation of character and bad taste.

      fred703 - 2011-06-14 09:32

      hmm I can add those to my others like "military intelligence", or "political ethics" or "corporate morality"

      debbie.van.niekerk - 2011-06-14 10:17

      bwhahahaha, Malema may sing Kill the boer but Zapiro may not draw cartoons??? hmmmmmm

      VADERLAND - 2011-06-14 10:41

      @debbie, good point. Drawing cartoons form part of our struggle

  • TrailerTrash - 2011-06-13 14:31

    The truth hurts!

  • maseratifitt - 2011-06-13 14:33

    Sharp, Shapiro. Just a pity that millions don't read the Mail & Guardian and will remain ignorant of the issues until it is too late. We need activism at grassroots level. A good starting point is signing the petitions of Right2know and avaaz. Posters and placards should be displayed in all public places and workplaces, informing people of the danger and steps to be taken to counteract it.

      Valkerie - 2011-06-13 14:39

      Millions do have Face Book - I receive my daily dose from the ZAPIRO site everyday. Another way to spread the word...

      d54 - 2011-06-13 20:32

      It's already sent to my entire address book which covers the entire globe.

      Paul - 2011-06-14 12:40

      eNews showed it. So now plenty of people have seen it.

  • Terence - 2011-06-13 14:35

    What dignity? Zuma gave up any claim on dignity with the revelations of his now infamous Rape case, the stonewalling of the arms deal investigations and of course his friend Mr Schaeks "generally corrupt relationship"

  • MoZaHo - 2011-06-13 14:35

    dignity? What dignity? Zapiro you are awesome. Keep up the good work. When Zapiro makes fun of anyone else, then its no issue. Don't see why Zuma should be an exception. I have more dignity than him...

  • cliffarc - 2011-06-13 14:35

    - How could one ever undermine the dignity of an idiot like Zuma, who has no morals,principles or breeding and conducts himself like a bafoon ?

      ANC-FTL - 2011-06-13 15:53

      Simodi - Zuma is an idiot period if you cannot see that then you even more of an idiot if that is even possible.

      Matt - 2011-06-13 16:21

      @ simodi - your wonderful president was in a corrupt arms deal, he should be in jail just for that... he fks any woman that walks (and maybe a few guys he's turned a blind eye to), has 5 wives and still has affairs, he says you can cure AIDS by taking a shower... is this the total fkg idiot you defend?

      Sho Fukamachi - 2011-06-13 16:30

      @simodi: your president is a sad excuse for a human being, the same way your government is a sad excuse for competent.

  • stofsuier - 2011-06-13 14:35

    What dignity does zuma have ???????

      IandI - 2011-06-13 14:43


      Matt - 2011-06-13 14:58

      Maybe Dignity is the name of his current bit-on-the-side

      simodi - 2011-06-13 15:11

      same goes to PW Botha or Verwoed no didnity at all.

      MoZaHo - 2011-06-13 15:43

      @Simodi : But they did know how to spell...

      ANC-FTL - 2011-06-13 15:54

      simodi - yeah thats the only thing I'll agree with you on.

      Matt - 2011-06-13 16:23

      @ Simodi - in those days, they censored satirists (that means people who make fun of, or joke about things) - in these days, they are trying to censor them "legally" before they pass the Info Bill, and then it will be so bad that if an ANC ballie fks your other half, you can't even complain about it or else you'll be arrested for revealing classified information

      Cire - 2011-06-13 16:55

      @simodi. I agree with you but I think that using the NP as your standard is pretty desperate. I thought that the ANC was supposed to be better - not the same!

      keithy - 2011-06-14 13:28

      Must be a trick question......he can't even spell dignity

      Richie - 2011-06-15 08:05

      @simodi - two wrongs dont make a right! i.e. apartheids evils cant be used to justify current wrongs. It makes all guilty by association. Dont you understand that you are admiting that these leaders are wrong/evil/corrupt by justifying their actions by apartheids standards?

      Jo - 2011-06-15 15:19

      Hi Simodi, You'll be pleased to know that Zapiro was drawing cartoons about those apartheid politicians too. That's how satirists and cartoonists fight to maintain our freedom. Here are a couple of examples of his anti-apartheid cartoons:

  • John Bokyeni - 2011-06-13 14:35

    Zuma is a joke, a cartoon is just a representation of his life!!!

      JohnnyBB - 2011-06-13 15:10

      ...The ANC is also a joke....!! ...he he he he he..!!

  • TOM COWELL - 2011-06-13 14:36

    "Undermines dignity" What dignity?

      IandI - 2011-06-13 15:15

      Dignity has never been a friend of Zuma, could be his concubine though.

      kalabafazi - 2011-06-13 15:20

      That's what I was wondering.

  • Spade - 2011-06-13 14:36

    Perhaps Zapiro should include a cartoon depicting Zuma unbuttoning his trousers while a few of his cronies push the Freedom Charter towards him, with the ghosts of Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, and a few other ANC stalwarts looking on in dismay...

      maseratifitt - 2011-06-13 14:52

      The heart of the matter. Good one.

      saabnut - 2011-06-13 16:26

      Spade gets my vote too

  • Lyndatjie - 2011-06-13 14:37

    The pen is truly mightier than the sword! Stab away Zapiro - if the truth hurts then at least it means that they are feeling what we feel every day of our lives for their betrayal.

  • Wow! - 2011-06-13 14:39

    I would to the ANC, that it is well on it's way to destroying the dignity of all South African people through their efforts to conceal information of their wrong doings AND that is what this is about. Under Zuma's watch many wrong doings are taking place. The rape of the freedom of speech being one element of this.

      maseratifitt - 2011-06-13 14:53

      And they are doing it with OUR own money!

      Louis III - 2011-06-13 15:43

      I'm not too sure they grasp "dignity" old man....

      d54 - 2011-06-13 20:38

      Not even China can shut the internet up.

  • katefish - 2011-06-13 14:41

    What dignity? He lost any right to dignity a couple of wives and half a dozen bastard babies ago?! And on that matter - he is not a religious prophet so he can be drawn by any cartoonist as and when they like!

      Cuzzy - 2011-06-14 10:37

      What you mean not a religious prophet? He can issue you a get to Heaven free card???

  • Kevin - 2011-06-13 14:41

    Lets make the pic our facebook profile pic, I just did. JM, will try get facebook shut down :D

  • Kale - 2011-06-13 14:47

    That man is a hero. He says it as it is. Go Zapiro.

  • Sisie - 2011-06-13 14:47

    What - Zuma has dignity? What a joke!

  • Zebedi - 2011-06-13 14:49

    Don't you love the way the ANC bring this cartoon to everyone's attention by their threat of legal action. The vast majority of people in SA would not have seen it or even know of it's existence if tey didn't shout foul so loudly. Proves once again that the ANC are their own worst enema(y)

  • Noah - 2011-06-13 14:50

    this is a behaviour of racist whites in this country,really the ANC have to do something to show that they have power,why negotiate with an oppressor.

      mike - 2011-06-13 15:35

      go and crawl back into your hole

      FINALCUT - 2011-06-13 16:06

      Thanks for that Noah. Your free t-shirt is in the post.

      Matt - 2011-06-13 16:25

      @ Noah - just wait till your darling ANC pass the info bill... if the ANC did bad things to you, you would also go to jail for telling somebody about it... fkg commies

      PB - 2011-06-14 09:21

      Noah, having power should not mean that you have to abuse it. Your life should be lived in such a way that respect comes automatically - like Madiba. Regarding your opinion that "the ANC have to do something to show that they have power" - Yes, they have to DO EVERYTING IN THEIR POWER to run the country efficiently without stealing the taxpayer's money and witholding services to the poor and destitude (and from the rest of us). If they did the jobs they were elected to, they would not have to hide behind laws to block freedom of information etc. If you do the deed, you should be able to take the fallout resulting from it.

      ProsAndCons - 2011-06-14 09:54

      Noah, Noah, Noah. An elected official does not have power, he or she has POSITION. That position confers responsibilities, and accountabilities, and provides the premise for democracy, which is, to govern, on behalf of the people that elected that person to that position. Democracy has NEVER been about having power. The term RULE, on the other hand, is a derivation of Noblesse Oblige, meaning that a form of power is HANDED DOWN, by either divine right, or constitutional hierarchy, none of which are part of the RSA Contitution, or indeed, of the Freedom Charter. When an elected official has to user POWER, in place of POSITION, to achieve goals and objectives, then the democratic process has been subverted, or, to use another phrase, raped. Thus, the constitution of RSA actually provides for Zapiro to portray such rape or subversion totally legally and above board. So there!

      Werner - 2011-06-14 12:51

      @ProsAndCons You've just showcased the exponential divide between corrupt thinking (Noah) and logical thinking (your own). I'd say give yourself a Bells, but I'm sick of that one-liner ;)

      Larro - 2011-06-15 12:20

      @ProsAndCons - I think you need to retype your reply, using words with less than three sylables - Noah will take WEEKS to work out your current response.

      Niel Meiring - 2011-06-15 16:32

      @noah. racist old are you? do you know who zapiro is. google him, you might be surprised. and then negotiate with an opressor...again. do you know what the word means. how can one man oppress a government? go do your homework. and by that mean your actual homework for school on friday (tomorrow is youth day)

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-06-13 14:50

    Zapiro toons it like it is...Keep it up !!!

  • Humang - 2011-06-13 14:52

    worry about petty things when you have a deranged mad man in the ancyl trying his utmost to destabilise the country and the anc with it.

  • Stella - 2011-06-13 14:55

    Go Zapiro - You can call it guilty conscience on the ANC side that is why they are over reacting.

  • DarkAgeCrusader - 2011-06-13 14:56

    Clearly Freedom of speech!! Its a pity our intelligent government officials do not know the meaning of a metaphor! Doctors and Professors my @ss

  • FINALCUT - 2011-06-13 14:56

    OH! How the truth hurts in our Stalanistic democracy.

  • George - 2011-06-13 14:57

    What dignity?

  • silverflash - 2011-06-13 14:58

    zapiro got balls for doing this twice , lol give that man a case of bells ..

  • advurt - 2011-06-13 14:59

    Zuma? Dignity? In the same sentence? NO NO NO !!!

  • Darryl - 2011-06-13 15:00

    Shame, perhaps their overgrown egos have been ruffled, or is the the truth that hurts so much. Viva Zapiro, Viva!!!

  • IandI - 2011-06-13 15:01

    How could the ANC allow itself to be led by a president like Zuma? Come on ANC, you have picked the worst candidate as president ever ...since the ANC was formed in 1912, time to admit and get a replacement in 2012. The only other person worse would be Juju, but he is still a "youth" and maybe some sense can be knocked into his head before he turns into an adult(we hope) at 35!

  • Ederik - 2011-06-13 15:02

    Dignity? What dignity?

  • v3 - 2011-06-13 15:05

    What dignity does President "Humping Dumpty" 783 have? He was described - accurately - by the British tabloid press as a "vile buffoon". The ANC should have thought of his "dignity" before foisting this low-life upon the country. If they cared about people's dignity, they can start with Julius Malema's vituperation and assaulting political opponents' dignity. Hypocrites!

      Matt - 2011-06-13 16:27

      They called him a vile buffoon? Darn for once they're spot on...

  • JustinD - 2011-06-13 15:05

    What dignity??????????

  • daaivark - 2011-06-13 15:05

    There is absolutely no need for a cartoon to undermine the dignity of the right honourable President Zuma. He does an excellent job of this all on his own. Zapiro just illustrates his antics.

  • Darryl - 2011-06-13 15:05

    Old Tshepoo. is one of those guys that 'Wonder What Happen' come talk again in about 100 years time tshepie you might have caught up by then.

  • Wayne - 2011-06-13 15:11

    And to think there is people defending Zuma and the ANC

  • gary.dasilva - 2011-06-13 15:12

    Zapiro keep up your brilliant work - the reason that the ANC is so offended is that you hit the nail on the head. Zapiro for president

  • CynicBelieve - 2011-06-13 15:12

    Here's the cartoon:

  • Steve - 2011-06-13 15:15


  • Gandalf - 2011-06-13 15:15

    Dignity? I wasn't aware he possessed such a trait.

  • AmandaWhereTo - 2011-06-13 15:16

    A picture is worth a 1000 words. Zapiro's are worth about 10 000 each ;)

  • cj - 2011-06-13 15:19

    Zuma's dignity ? He and the ANC are the ones imparing the dignity of the citizens of SA with the new " Secrecy Bill". @Sexy Thsepo and Mad-man, you clearly have no idea what democracy means you idiots.

  • Paddy - 2011-06-13 15:19

    Freedom of speech when it suites the ANC as long as it is not agaisnt them

  • Kay - 2011-06-13 15:21

    You know what they say Zuma ol'boy... The truth hurts! And Zapiro knows just how to deal it to you. Zapiro is genius if you ask me!

  • KomboKitten - 2011-06-13 15:23

    the anc undermines their own non-existent 'dignity'

  • Vicker - 2011-06-13 15:29

    The ANC's comment is facutally incorrect: Zuma HAS NO dignity left to begin with...

  • Mainecoon8 - 2011-06-13 15:30

    The fundamental hallmark of a mature democracy that has nothing to hide, is the ability to not only allow unfettered criticism but also to PROTECT the criticiser's right to air it in whatever shape of form he/she deems fit. Obviously it cant descend into hate, racism or ad-hominem attacks and in the case of cartoons specifically satirical ones, it is entirely permissible to depict the symbols of government in a form recognisable to the readers. In this case, it helps that Zuma as both government and ANC are setting themselves up for every brickbat available. This is a cartoon but be under no illusions as to its serious underlying message. It is indeed the thin edge of the wedge and ewe ignore it at our peril.

  • Mart - 2011-06-13 15:31

    ponder 'vicarious liability' for a bit and tell me who is guilty of what !! Vicarious liability is a form of strict, secondary liability that arises under the common law doctrine of agency – respondeat superior – the responsibility of the superior for the acts of their subordinate, or, in a broader sense, the responsibility of any third party that had the "right ... The legal principle of vicarious liability applies to hold one person liable for the actions of another when engaged in some form of joint or collective activity. Liability imposed upon a person even though not a party to a particular