No apology from Zapiro and paper, says Hindu group

2013-11-11 00:00

THE Sunday Times and Zapiro had not apologised for its portrayal of Hindu God Ganesha, the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha said yesterday.

Ram Maharaj, president of the organisation, said they would now look at petitioning the government to push for a law preventing discrimination on the grounds of religion.

The organisation had reported Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) and the Sunday Times to the press ombudsman after the cartoonist depicted Hindu god Ganesha holding a cricket bat and money while Cricket SA CEO Haroon Lorgat, tied up on an altar, is about to be stabbed as a sacrifice to him by two CSA officials. In the cartoon, Lord Ganesha, symbolises the Board of Control for Cricket in India.

On Tuesday the ombudsman dismissed the complaint, but cautioned that the cartoon came close to breaching the press code.

Maharaj said they had not received an apology from the newspaper by yesterday afternoon. “Even if we get an apology, there would be nothing to prevent other newspapers from publishing such religious hatred,” he added. “We are working on other initiatives and we also reported the matter to the Human Rights Commission.”

Maharaj said they were concerned at the apparent disregard for all religions and not just Hinduism.

“And this needs to be stopped now. We feel the press ombudsman did not look deeper into the issue.

“We are now looking for a solution. We want government to have an act to deal with religious discrimination.”

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