Zapiro relieved cartoon suit is over

2012-10-29 14:05
Zapiro (File, Sapa)

Zapiro (File, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

Zuma drops Zapiro lawsuit

2012-10-29 09:13

President Jacob Zuma withdrew his claim for damages against cartoonist "Zapiro" to avoid setting a legal precedent. Watch. WATCH

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - Cartoonist Jonathan "Zapiro" Shapiro is relieved the "Lady Justice" cartoon court battle with President Jacob Zuma is over, he said on Monday.

"It's a great victory for freedom of expression and for satire and for comment," he said by telephone from Cape Town.

Media lawyer Dario Milo said the case was formally withdrawn on Monday morning.

Shapiro, who signs himself as "Zapiro", said he had been looking forward to airing what he felt were important points made in the cartoon since the R5m claim was lodged against him and the Sunday Times in December 2008.

However, in the past week there had been a "steady capitulation" by Zuma's team. The amount was reduced to R4m, with the impairment of dignity aspect dropped.

‘A victory for Lady Justice, Press Freedom’


Zuma then reduced it to a demand for R100 000 for defamation and an unconditional apology, before letting it go altogether.

Shapiro said the president's decision did not mean he would stop drawing "Lady Justice".

"Most certainly I will be drawing 'Lady Justice' and 'Press Freedom'. Maybe having a drink together... a glass of champagne. I see it as a victory for both.

"But I'm not going out of my way to use them. This whole episode was about a particular set of circumstances," he said.

On Sunday, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj issued a statement confirming news reports about the withdrawal of the suit, in which he said: "After careful consideration and consultation with his legal team, President Zuma has taken a decision to withdraw his claim against the respondents, and pay a contribution to their costs."

This was to avoid setting a legal precedent that "may have the effect of limiting the public exercise of free speech".

‘Racist attitudes’

The presidency felt the courts were not always the best places for these matters to be resolved, and the president also had to get on with resolving urgent economic and political issues.

Other comments in the communiqué relating to freedom of speech and African mores brought up mixed feelings for Shapiro on Monday and had made him a bit more "combative", he said.

Part of the statement read: "...Essentially what lies at the heart of the Sunday Times' publication of the cartoon was a set of deeply ingrained prejudices regarding not only the president, but which extend to views about African males and sexual mores.

"... Defeating racist attitudes requires removing the racial imprint on the way South African society is organised and structured, as well as continuous political action and open dialogue between South Africans across racial and cultural divides. The president wishes to encourage this route to solving such problems."

A cheap trick - Zapiro

Said Shapiro: "It's a bit of a cheap trick... to completely drop the charges and completely cave in, then call me a racist."

He questioned Maharaj's statement on free speech.

"Claiming freedom of expression is a cheap trick - pursuing someone for four years and being the most litigious president we have ever had," he said.

In September 2008, the Sunday Times published a cartoon drawn by Shapiro depicting Zuma loosening his trousers while "Lady Justice" was pinned down by since expelled African National Congress Youth League president Julius Malema, Congress of SA Trade Unions general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi, SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, all saying: "Go for it, boss".

At the time, Zuma had been acquitted of rape, and had had a long-running battle against corruption charges with French arms company Thint. The corruption charges were dropped because the National Prosecuting Authority said there was recorded evidence of interference in the case.

The Democratic Alliance is trying to get those tapes, through the courts.

This week, the Sunday Times carried a Shapiro cartoon depicting Zuma lying on the ground with "Lady Justice" sitting on one of his arms, a showerhead over his head, and a broken baseball bat on his other side, on which the words "R5m lawsuit" were written.

Shapiro was depicted holding a picture of the cartoon in question, pinning Zuma's other arm down, with the words "Are we done here?" in the speech bubble.
- SAPA
Read more on:    mac maharaj  |  zapiro  |  jacob zuma  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
31 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

Watch: 5 skills to improve your BMX riding

Learn some great skills that will help your riding on the road and on the track.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips on how to set your fitness goals
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
The TRUTH about painkillers and exercise
WIN! Where were you when you last felt alive?

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong social and romantic overtone that plays its way into your day. It may get stronger later in the day when the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.