Fury over new Zapiro cartoon

2010-01-15 14:16

Johannesburg - The latest Zapiro cartoon in the Mail & Guardian has incensed the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), who blasted it as "distasteful" and "deplorable".

The cartoon depicts President Jacob Zuma undoing his pants as Eugene De Kock and Schabir Shaik hold down lady justice. The infamous shower head sketched above Zuma's is etched closer to the president's head.

A speech bubble has Zuma saying: "Begging your pardon."

The cartoon relates to applications for a presidential pardon from both De Kock and Shaik.

Numsa said the caricature "implants in the minds of the public" that Zuma is a rapist despite being cleared of rape charges by a court of law.


"This venomous and personal hatred of President Zuma camouflaged as an artistic skill by Zapiro is a sign of disrespect not only to President Zuma, but to the office and the position he occupies in society as the fourth democratically elected Head of State," the union said in a statement.

"Whilst we respect and uphold the Constitution and freedom of expression, it does not give cartoonists licence to undermine the fundamental rights to dignity as guaranteed in the Constitution."

It also described the cartoon as "reckless" through depicting a woman about to be raped in a country wracked by violence and abuse against women.

Numsa demanded that the newspaper and Zapiro apologise to Zuma and that the SA Human Rights Commission take action against the cartoonist.

The presidency confirmed that Zuma met Eugene de Kock, who served 14 years of a 212-year-sentence for apartheid era atrocities, prompting speculation that he is considering pardoning the former Vlakplaas commander, nicknamed "Prime Evil", as a political trade-off for a reprieve for Shaik.

Shaik was controversially granted medical parole last year after serving two years and four months of a 15-year jail term for fraud and corruption, relating in part to an alleged bribe he arranged between Zuma and a French arms dealer.

The presidency this week confirmed it had received Shaik's application for pardon.

  • Chris G - 2010-01-15 15:22

    Does anyone else have this strange feeling of deja vu... and a strange feeling of don't really care?

  • Loudly South African - 2010-01-15 15:22

    This "Fury" reminds me of the uniformed reaction to the Danish Mohammed cartoons and the fury over some of the comments over a recently deceased trash minister.

    In the case of the Presidency, Numsa - as part of the Tryaparthate alliance - showed total disrespect for the office by electing a crook with 783 unanswered charges to it. It will take years to restore the Office of President to the respect it deserves.

    I am not a fan of Zapiro, but this time he HAS captured the situation perfectly.

  • Joe - 2010-01-15 15:23

    Oh my, the fools miss the point of the cartoon, but then again, who'd expect anything different from the likes of NUMSA. There's a big difference between raping the system (abusing power!)and raping a woman being a savage)! Grow some brains people! Grow some brains.

  • Imraan - 2010-01-15 15:23

    I think its a bit unnecessary to show the image of a woman being raped (whatever the philosophical reasoning behind it). In a country where woman and child abuse is so rife, tongue in cheeks images of rape are uncalled for.

  • DYlan - 2010-01-15 15:30

    Hey the cartoon seems pretty accurate to me

  • Zooma - 2010-01-15 15:32

    Keep up the good work Zapiro! You're on the mark as always.

  • Matthew - 2010-01-15 15:33

    Any once again they completely miss the point - NUMSA - pay attention - he is referring to the rape of the justice system

  • haha - 2010-01-15 15:36

    The truth hurts

  • Glen - 2010-01-15 15:38

    Zapiro zaps again - got to love the man...

  • Ilze - 2010-01-15 15:39

    Don't be ridiculous - south africa is not a democrasy

  • Prophet - 2010-01-15 15:40

    Somebody should maybe sit down and explain the concept of "raping justice" to these intelectual giants of numsa. Funny how numsa will stand up for "justice" when it suits them. Yet when Jacob Zuma does not take the opportunity to clear his name in a court of law by politically inetefering in the judicial system they have no comment. Hypocrates!!!!! maybe they should stop playing politics and enritching themselves and rather start contributing to alleviating the plight of the poor in this country??

  • Vince - 2010-01-15 15:45

    Zapiro has gone too far. In another African country, he would be dead by now!

  • camelthief - 2010-01-15 15:46

    once again people don't understand. The president deserves no more respect than you or me. In fact as a public servant he should be going out of his way to respect us. The satirical suggestion of the cartoon is that he is once again disrespecting every South African, and the justice system by thinking he can do what he likes, thinking we're all too dumb to notice. A central piece of democracy is that he shouldn't be allowed to do what he wants, he is not a king, he is there at our bidding, through the vote. The person who is disrespecting the office of the president the most is not Zapiro, it is Mr Zuma himself.

  • Jonathan - 2010-01-15 15:51

    Zapiro spot on once again. Justice has been raped time and time again by Zuma and his cohorts.

  • shamier - 2010-01-15 15:51

    Seriously, why does numsa care about this? It has little or no bearing on them. methinks they just being fluffers before JZ has his way with jusice.

  • MikeF - 2010-01-15 15:52

    More than anyone else it is Jacob Zuma who should show respect for the position and the office he occupies. Before he was elected president of the Country Jacob Zuma appointed a heavy weight task team to help him avoid going to court on corruption charges. That was achieved. Now its payback time. All of his heavy weight task team and political backers have been rewarded for their loyalty, and they will push on relentlessly, even at the expense of the office, the position that Zuma holds, and at the expense of our constitutional democracy and judiciary.

  • Reg - 2010-01-15 15:52

    Once again the intellectuals at Numsa are showing us just how much they understand ... the scales of justice ... defence of the constitution about to be raped ... oh what the hell they wouldn't understand the concept anyway ... and by the way he is the THIRD president elected by the democracy, Mr Interim was never elected.

  • Klunk - 2010-01-15 15:53

    Man,this 3 ring circus with all its monkeys is becoming too much. There is no pride,no justice, no cocideration for fellow country men,but let one man dare to speak out and we are expected to respect the presidents office and his position. What a joke! Respect is earned,not demanded.

  • roko'o - 2010-01-15 15:57

    What goes around comes around. No matter how matter times you hear it, the truth always hurt.

  • Mario - 2010-01-15 15:59

    I dont know why Zuma wants to free Eugene de Kock. Is the White Afrikaners such a powerful group in South Africa that they must be consulted first. They have no power they handed it over. What nonsense is this?

  • JA - 2010-01-15 15:59


  • Anonymous - 2010-01-15 15:59

    Zapiro does it again - however distasteful he is funny

  • BT - 2010-01-15 16:00

    I detect another perfect example of "the truth hurts"!

  • mallencolly - 2010-01-15 16:01

    Who wants De Kock released? How would it be a political trade off?

    Oh yeah, nice cartoon. There is no way that a pardon for shaik and De Kock could be seen as anything else.

  • Vernon Wolf - 2010-01-15 16:02

    The truth hurts, doesn't it? By the way, respect is something one earns, so far JZ's done nothing to earn mine...good job Zapiro!

  • Point Blank - 2010-01-15 16:02

    Blah blah blah, why does News24 and IOL only allow comments on racially sensitive articles and not all?

  • bex - 2010-01-15 16:06

    Honestly... Can'tNumsa concentrat on educating their union members better, making a difference in the work force for their workers and making South Africa a better place rather than creating a scape goat out of POLITICAL SATIRIST CASRTOONIST Zapiro? I mean it is his job to make political statements in his cartoons and it is his right... Why don't NUMSA forget all about it and get on with their own jobs? It's like their defending a massive militant leader... "Nothing bad can be said about are gracious, fearless leader, all shall bow down to him and kiss his feet"! Let me remind you that we live in a democracy and in a Democracy where freedom of speech is a right politicians and presidents should expect to be criticised... that's what makes a democracy work! The people are able to voice their opinions of a situation to have those opinions taken into consideration by the leading body so that that opinion can be changed through change in the political body!

  • Shaik Spotter - 2010-01-15 16:06

    What a wonderful precedent our president will set for SA should he pardon His Ugliness Shark Shaik. Lets all go on a fraudulent, tax evading, insurance scamming rampage, - we could always ask for a pardon should we get netted. There really is a foul odour brewing in the parliamentary septic tank & its gonna explode soon.
    Go Zapiro you beaut..

  • Paul - 2010-01-15 16:09

    I agree ! Enough is a enough ! I am a middle aged pale male !And it is time that we showed our President some respect !We may not all agree with his politics and his customs but assure me it could be a lot worse.It is in our constitution that all parties agreed to and it is therefore his perogative to give pardons to whom he pleases . Leave it at that !!!!!!

  • John Mare - 2010-01-15 16:10

    Zapiro is a disgrace to SA media and an insult to the public. Heshould be replaced if his newspaper wants to hold some reputation for tasteful coverage. He so often shows no respect for religions often using Christian or Muslim contexts, and no ethical standards in attacks on his chosen politicians. I can think of many cartoons about Mr Zapiro. I have stopped buying the Sunday Times largely because of his "work"

  • F Buys - 2010-01-15 16:10

    Shame, what is really bad about the situation is that criminals like Shaik go about as if they did nothing wrong - have nothing to be ashamed of ! Zapiro once more highlighted the truth.

  • Neels - 2010-01-15 16:11

    Zuma and his government is a joke with no respect for the law. Why should this cartoon upset them? Sometimes it does hurt to face the truth!

  • RazMaTaz34 - 2010-01-15 16:12

    I have to agree with NUMSA here, ZAPIRO is taking this a bit far - I am neither an ANC nor Zuma supporter, but really man ZAPIRO needs to come up with something a bit better...

  • Jawellnofine - 2010-01-15 16:13

    Grow up South Africa...if we cannot laugh at ourselves what will become of us!?

  • slipper - 2010-01-15 16:13

    Zuma should of never put himself in the position or made such a stupid comment, he therefore will always be made a joke of...

  • Arbitrator - 2010-01-15 16:19

    You bad boy Zapiro- you made fun of President Showerhead -oops- I mean President Zuma. Funny that people always squeal about freedom of speech-but make fun of a person in a (dubious) position of power-suddenly it's a grave insult.It's the truth as well-those two rats will be pardoned. You go Zapiro- I support you 100 %.

  • CTheB - 2010-01-15 16:21

    And Numsa hangs out its "We're really, really, really stupid" sign.

  • Raymond - 2010-01-15 16:22

    PLEASE publish these cartoons,I would love to see it and have a good laugh.Zapiro,you are unreal!!!

  • Mmohelo - 2010-01-15 16:25

    People should just give Zapiro a chance to breath,I don't understand why because now there is someone at fault against ANC then the human rights commission should take a stand,Malema has been running around lashing at anything and everyone with no respect for human right or whatsoever,Does this president actually have the credentials of being a president, the first president to be accused of rape,the first president to have 3 or 4 First wives in a democratic country,anyone in their right mind will agree that we are just voting the ANC because there is nothing better to vote for for Leadership its just crisis.

  • Roland - 2010-01-15 16:27

    Boy-this one is going to have this column burning!! The person depicted in this cartoon is not the position of the President of SA, but an individual, so I fail to see the so-called disprepsct to the position. If anything, the present incumbent is a disgrace to this position. This saga of the rape of the judiciary will continue while the ANC and it's cronies continue to do this. You go Zappiro - the truct sure does hurt.

  • ian - 2010-01-15 16:30

    Many a true word spoken in jest comes to mind here........ and are the invisible acomplices in this cartoon......

  • Simon - 2010-01-15 16:31

    However, I did not relate to "rape" when seeing the cartoon - thank you Numsa, the presidents office will be no doubt thank you too.

  • ian - 2010-01-15 16:32

    HAHAHAHAHAH never has a truer word been spoken, or in this case drawn, in Jest.
    and the ones who are making the most noise right now...COSATU are the invisble accomplices who cannot be seen in the cartoon.....bunch of thieving criminals.

  • NellyG - 2010-01-15 16:35

    Here we go again...

  • Bonny - 2010-01-15 16:37

    If the shoe fits......

  • John Stone - 2010-01-15 16:38

    President Zuma is being criticized for decisions he hasn't taken yet, so far speculation and rumour is being treated and elevated to the level of established facts , how fair is that? There is nothing like freedom of expression when Zapiro is off-side in this way. Is the president being intimidated into not taking decisions here? Why is there so much hate for President Zuma from certain quarters of our society? Even the majority of our oppressed masses did not treat illegitimate apartheid leaders like this, is this really a democracy? I propose to all right thinking South African to allow the President to act in accordance with existing laws that empowers him to consider pardons, let us not act like idiots
    (DA & Zapiro). Zapiro is criticizing President Zuma based on speculation, no journalist worth his salt will stoop that low. The DA wants a new law to be passed based on media speculation and rumour, laws must be made to stand the test of time and not vice versa. Idiots!

  • tom - 2010-01-15 16:39

    To close to the bone?

  • 1Day - 2010-01-15 16:39

    Zapiro sadly is .. great again

  • Nick - 2010-01-15 16:42

    The points in the article are very valid. BUT!! If not for the cartoonist airing a lot of peoples views how would we see the sad, but funny, side to all of these debacles. Both Eugene de Kock and Schabir Shaik should serve their sentences as they are both despicable and worthless examples of humanity. What kind of message does it send to the population if cretins like this are pardoned and allowed back into society to continue their evil ways.

  • Craig - 2010-01-15 16:42

    Does any-one want Eugene de Kock released? If Zuma wants to release Shabir, then let him do so (and we will reserve the right to disagree with the decision if we so wish), but to release Eugene as a "trade-off" is just wrong. Shabir was found to be dishonest which is bad enough, but pardonable, but Eugene was murderous, which is not forgivable.