Zapiro sceptical over cohesion

2012-07-06 20:00

Johannesburg - Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro says he is sceptical about the social cohesion summit because it is an attempt to encourage conformity rather than real diversity.

"Dissident views are essential for real change. Irreverence toward leaders who take themselves too seriously is a vital part of democracy," he said in an e-mail issued by his office.

He was responding to criticism of his cartoon which was published in the Mail & Guardian on Friday.

"If ANC spokespeople feel the cartoon should be ignored then they are free to ignore it," he said.

The government has called for the urgent removal of the latest Zapiro cartoon, which features an erect penis with a showerhead and legs with an accompanying limerick about President Jacob Zuma.

'Defamatory attack'

"Government calls on Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) to withdraw his cartoon, and urges the Mail & Guardian to remove it from its website," government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said in a statement.

The cartoon was a "defamatory attack" on Zuma's character and violated his rights to dignity as enshrined in the Constitution.

"It is disappointing that the Mail & Guardian published such a demeaning cartoon, especially following the recent debate about another offensive artwork."

He was referring to a now-defaced painting by artist Brett Murray depicting Zuma with genitals exposed, which showed at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg in May.

"While the Constitution and the government of South Africa promote freedom of expression, artists should ensure that they do not infringe on the rights of others, and that they build cohesion, dignity, and respect rather than undermine these imperatives.

Shock value

Earlier, the ANC, the ANC Women's League (ANCWL), and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa) issued statements condemning the cartoon.

The ANCWL said: "The Zapiro cartoons rely on their shock value to make an impact, but calling the president of this great nation a 'dick' is unacceptable and the WL would like to know who the 'we' he is referring to in the cartoon actually is, as the majority of the population who voted for the president clearly did not think this of Zuma."

The ANC said: "As the ANC, we are taken aback by this so-called cartoon and comment by Zapiro.

"We find it unacceptable and shocking that after the harsh experiences that South Africa, the president, and his family experienced [a] few weeks ago, that Zapiro and the Mail and Guardian will find it appropriate to continue with the insults and hurt to the president, his family, and the broader ANC constituency."

Numsa said it was "littered with venomous and deep personal hatred" of Zuma.

"As Numsa we can come to no other conclusion but to accept that some white progressives of yesteryear have become racist and colonialist in their outlook since the advent of our new democratic dispensation."

The ANC and Numsa have demanded an apology.

- Take a look at the cartoon on M&G's website.

  • altusvanzyl - 2012-07-06 20:15


      stiaan.schoeman - 2012-07-06 20:27

      Hallo Altus. Het julle onlangs eers internet gekry daar in Wellington?

      altusvanzyl - 2012-07-06 20:46

      Haha jammer ek moes net, die versoeking was te groot!

  • jacob.molife - 2012-07-06 20:33

    Shapiro stop playin God. Sharks will prove you wrong.

      Kevin - 2012-07-06 23:28

      Only if he swims in the sea or plays rugby?

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-07-07 00:53

      Why doesn't Zuma demand an apology if this is a personal insult aimed at him? Why the ANC and NUMSA? Can Zuma not stand up for himself?

      bob.mugabe2 - 2012-07-07 04:40

      No he can't defend himself, if he did they will call him a bully.

      james.m.wood.773 - 2012-07-07 20:28

      @ suzanna, he would stand up but he's run out of viagra

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-08 18:29

      I am insulted daily by Zuma's racist agenda.

  • ThinkingChick - 2012-07-06 20:45

    When I saw this cartoon, I knew Zapiro would be in trouble. It's not cutting edge satire - or is something more important? Let's go back a while to the City Press incident. That publication was bullied, outright threatened into taking down The Spear. Here we have a cartoon, the editor chose to ran it and it causes hell. If I, a mere peasant can understand that - so did Mr Nic Dawes. So, why run it? I sincerely hope it is the way the M&G and Zapiro are drawing a line in the sand. "Don't touch us on our freedoms." This could well become a staring contest and I have a feeling M&G will win - the paper has backbone. As the BBC so clearly pointed out when running this story - Zuma has tried 11 times to muzzle the press with law suits. Now the ANC thinks it is onto a winner with the threats because Haffajee caved. Let's see if Dawes has more balls.

      madise.paul - 2012-07-06 20:51


      Henk - 2012-07-06 21:30

      F of Madise!

      bob.mugabe2 - 2012-07-07 05:03

      Let's look at this another way. The dictum that with freedom comes responsibility. In our culture, the one some claim to know little about despite living on the same postage stamp, to insult a black man by his genitals is equal if not worsw than calling him a k@#$%*. Now you have chosen to redefine this freedom to include crude insults and the media is playing ball with it. So when another Malema comes along and calls for example, Hellen Zille or Peter Mulder by some nasty term, you will not flinch. you will continue to celebrate your great freedom?? I think not. Struggle art never potrayed Those horrible monsters you repeatedly voted into power naked. They concentrated on creating real art that stood the test of critical acclaim while expressing the pain and inhumanity of apartheid. The Germans walked away from Nazism and embraced the future, and look where it got them. If you don't deal with apartheid denialism you will bequeth apartheid guilt to your children, and that's sad. Blacks will build this country and make it great, along with whites and all others that believe in the future, genitals hangign or not and you will just be left with your experlatives.

      bob.mugabe2 - 2012-07-07 05:06

      Well done ti the DA for not getting involved in this. You will earn yourselves some respect if you keep it up.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-07 11:44

      I am sure his cabinet must be laughing about him behind his back.

      JKSed - 2012-07-09 07:17

      Until your Grandpa's own penis is hanged in public you' ll never understand how Zuma's kids are hurting over your racist tendencies. You have been raised to believe you are superior to other humans and your thinking and words should always be final. And pure white racist folks never thought the spear when their Oupa de Klerk left poor Marike running after pants of a younger mistress. The lonely lady died alone and sad, sies!

  • sizwe.bwana - 2012-07-06 20:48

    If this was Shaka, Zapiro would be impaled on a stake and wish he had never been born. I think as President, Zuma should arrest Zapiro and demand an apology. Zapiro just like a child wanting attention. He needs to learn to respect the office of President and maybe a week in a tough jail will teach him some manners.

      Irene - 2012-07-06 21:10

      Nothing to respect about the so-called 'president'.

      fanie.smit.5 - 2012-07-06 21:10

      Fredom of thought put in words my bra. If this is the way you want to go, go and lay a charge at the police as Zuma has no guts to do it himself.

      Irene - 2012-07-06 21:10

      BTW, what on earth has Shaka got to do with this? Are you lost in another century?

      Kevin - 2012-07-06 23:34

      The Zulus were f***** over by the British Army. Shaka coudn't even discipline Moselikatse. He was another pontificating short sighted non-democratic leader. The rule of law says that Zuma cannot arrest Zapiro because hasn't broken any law. Why did the world waste the rule of law and democracy on a bunch of people who simply cannot understand?

      Kevin - 2012-07-06 23:37

      William.Botha9 Zapiro wouldn't have been shot by Hitler, he would have been sent to concentration camp and gassed, he is Jewish. The sad thing is that your forebears didn't see much wrong with the facist dictatorship of Adolph Hitler. - 2012-07-07 01:23

      Jaa KevinW- I think you are clutching at straws, had it not been for my Grandfather you would have been speaking German now.

      francois.coetzee1 - 2012-07-07 08:53

      If this was Shaka, Zuma would have been brained with a knobkierie for his philandering

      colingkearns - 2012-07-07 11:31

      One earns respect, our so called president does not know the meaning of the word but he does know about.... self gratification. He also lacks a sense of humour, but then poorly educated people who take themselves to seriously only know - hit back ALA John Vorster,Stalin etc. Shaka was awarrior in his time, but by today's standards he would be a war criminal and branded a savage ALA Kony. Welcome to the 21 century!! - 2012-07-07 19:06

      If Shaka was still alive and in power, Zuma would have been impaled on a stake for sleeping around. This "so called Culture " that he practise was definitly not the same culture Shaka had.

  • kenneth.kgosi - 2012-07-06 20:50

    I'll neva trade my citizenship ~ I love being a SOuth African wit all de free Comedy offered in my beloved country \ lmao lol lol VIVA Zapiro...kwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

      bones.meintjies - 2012-07-06 21:44


  • sizwe.bwana - 2012-07-06 21:01

    If Zapiro made a cartoon like that of me I would take it as a personal insult and go over to his place and punch him on the nose. Zuma must just grin and bear it? Not the kind of Zulu I'm used to.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-06 21:48

      Sizwe, you are not a public figure, Zuma is. When you represent the country, you must behave accordingly. Sleeping around is just not on for the First Citizen. Neither is being clueless.

      colingkearns - 2012-07-07 13:15

      Carefull Sizwe, he may be a black belt and kick you in the masende wakho.The pen is mightier than the spear!

  • jacob.molife - 2012-07-06 21:04

    Zapiro, I repeat, stop playin God sharks will prove you wrong, let alone a chimp.

      frans.vanderpoll - 2012-07-06 21:31

      Hey Jacob, what are you trying to say? Not making sense.

  • Muffin_man_can - 2012-07-06 21:04

    Brilliant Zapiro! You have a talent for seeing the truth and stating it in an uncompromizing manner. We need more of your kind ;)

  • azande.futhi - 2012-07-06 21:07

    I am no fan of Zuma but Zapiro is proving to be a publicity seeker. He now envies Brett Murray. I may have liked his cartoons but he has shown that he deserves no recognition nor respect just as he lacks it. I'm sure he has no children that look up to him and to account to with his everyday activities. SA Media is inciting violence and brewing hatred everyday against certain groups...and I am sure I'm not the only one affected by it.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-06 21:19

      it should be publicity of your work not you...there is a difference. zapiro is gunning for the latter.

      azande.futhi - 2012-07-06 21:34

      hence i lost respect for him.

  • sizwe.bwana - 2012-07-06 21:26

    I think Zapiro wants to take over where Juju left off, just an attention seeker. Nothing artistic or comical about that sketch. Just a low class worthless comment.

      Henk - 2012-07-06 21:32

      In the same class as the subject....

      rui.d.barros.7 - 2012-07-06 22:10

      I thought it quiet artistic and comical .

      rui.d.barros.7 - 2012-07-06 22:26

      I thought it quiet artistic and comical .

      Kevin - 2012-07-06 23:39

      The difference between Zapiro and Malema is an education, and talent. This difference is probably insurmountable.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-07-06 21:28

    When you are a political or social figure you must be expected to be made fun of. The people in this country must learn to laugh again. Keep up the good work Zapiro. I sent the cartoon to my friends all over the world.

      JKSed - 2012-07-09 07:22

      Until your own pa's penis is sent the whole world for people to laugh you'll never understand how should Zuma's kids feel. You should and stupid Zapiro could not do the same when your Oupa De Klerk left ran after a younger mistress and left poor Marike to die alone. The reason is obvious, YOU Have Been Raised Like That. You will never see any wrong in it.

  • nikon.luddite - 2012-07-06 21:39

    Big fan of Zapiro - but I think this one a bit naughty and the only reason was to irritate the living cr@p out of Zuma. But then again, who can resist when they react like that !!

      Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-07-06 22:15

      He tells it like it is

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-07-06 21:48

    This is what happens when you try to appease people who never asked for it in the first place.

  • jeremy.forbes.1293 - 2012-07-06 22:08

    Folks, this is the price that needs to be paid for a free press an essential ingredient of democracy. We are playing with fire if we demand censorship of any kind, irrespective of who is offended. Politicians must learn to live with criticism, besides if they are doing a good job nobody would be bothered to launch cartoon pictures on the internet. It is because, the ruling class are so incompetent and corrupt that these pictures find their rightful context. Besides, the voices of outrage are only concerned because they wonder who is next and they would love to practice their fine arts unnoticed and unobserved by the media.

  • Cassandra Eileen Olivier - 2012-07-06 22:13

    What about the respect and dignity that Zuma took away from this country? He embarrassed this country with his womanizing ways, his corruption and don't forget he is a rapist.

  • emile.vanrayner.7 - 2012-07-06 22:18


  • logical007 - 2012-07-06 22:27

    What part of the satire is not true?

  • jacob.molife - 2012-07-06 22:47

    Zapiro's an old crab. When the damage is done he creeps under a rock, n tries to appear very innocent. Old fox.!!!

  • jacob.molife - 2012-07-06 22:48

    Zapiro's an old crab. When the damage is done he creeps under a rock, n tries to appear very innocent. Old fox.!!!

  • Marco - 2012-07-07 00:19

    so now the n24 youth league supporters dont see this as racist? now its fair democratic comment? how convenient. how confusing. how obvious.

  • mzijimmym - 2012-07-07 01:40

    Zapiro is a very good example of people who are a danger to social cohesion,the way he is insulting our leaders is totally unacceptable

      Irene - 2012-07-07 02:52

      You call Zooomer a leader? Bah!

      Press - 2012-07-08 20:07

      mzijimmym - clearly Zapiro's zapper is bigger than Zumas service pistol . . .

  • infijar.ken - 2012-07-07 02:18

    What, the majority of this Nation didn't vote for this President! A bunch of drunks at Polokwane did!

      siphamandla.zondi - 2012-07-07 23:19

      But the1999 elections were national, I thought @infijar... Were the 11 million voters in Polokwane?

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-07-07 02:20

    If Zuma kept his d*ck in check there would be nothing for Zap to cartoon about!! BUT then Zuma's philosophy is..if it moves f*ck it if it doesn't paint it !!

  • thenga.pfananani - 2012-07-07 06:07

    The Gov, ANCWL, COSATU,SACP,ANC and other Anc's partners they should have condemnd the Limpopo text books saga strongly but it sees as Zuma's loose PIPI is mo important than the future of our beloved kids.

      Fhedzani Sadiki - 2012-07-07 07:40

      Thenga, ngoho ndi heneyo.

      JKSed - 2012-07-08 20:09

      I did not know that you are like this. Yo!

  • thenga.pfananani - 2012-07-07 06:07

    The Gov, ANCWL, COSATU,SACP,ANC and other Anc's partners they should have condemnd the Limpopo text books saga strongly but it sees as Zuma's loose PIPI is mo important than the future of our beloved kids.

      brad.herbert.522 - 2012-07-07 16:36

      Well put Thenga. clearly the current goverments priorities are in the wrong place.

      JKSed - 2012-07-09 07:27

      Shame Tenga, what happened to you?

  • lucas.lelimo - 2012-07-07 06:56

    if u cn fllw da comments on dis idiot-zapiro's story.u'll c da \we\ dat he ws refrng 2.only whits appreciate his barbaric work.wen we use condoms,we avoid 2 mk kidz who r zapiro n his followers.i fail 2 undrstnd hw grwn up ppl cn agree on such a stupid deed

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-07 14:01

      Lucas, I don't know what's Zap's IQ precisely is, and it's none of my -or your business, really. But one thing I am sure about; he must be ahead of your own IQ by at least 25 points. So Lucas, you are not in a position to call him "idiot". BTW, does your limited intelligence at least enable you to write English, instead of that gobbledygook funnygalore of yours...

  • rob.bayliss.94 - 2012-07-07 07:25

    Zapiro operates at the fault lines of SA society, and he uses props that allow him to engage with a large proportion of the country.....both critical factors regardless of the content of his art. Inevitably when working at the fault lines he often confronts people who for any of many reasons doen't embrace his artwork, and have difficulty understanding his messages That should not suprise us, when you work at the fault lines you don't expect to be everyone's friend. The responses, as always, will reflect the maturity of the commentators, and even though I believe that this depiction is sailing close to a legal challenge I agree with its message and appreciate its presentation.

      Phobos777 - 2012-07-07 08:38

      Well said...well said indeed!

  • brandon.mccutcheon.56 - 2012-07-07 08:03

    Well, what can I say? Zuma is a dickhead...

  • dbnsfynest - 2012-07-07 08:32

    Maybe I'm not black enough but I see \the spear\ and this cartoon as attacks on Jacob Zuma and not black people as a whole so I fail to see the racism in either, but that's just my own humble opinion.

      Alfred Vana - 2012-07-07 17:14

      am fully agree with u

      JKSed - 2012-07-08 20:07

      O setlatla se se itshegisang ka makgowa wena.

      Press - 2012-07-08 20:17

      Absolutely - and this isint even an attack on Zuma - its an attack on how the ANC suppressed freedom of expression in the original "spear" case.

  • Phobos777 - 2012-07-07 08:34

    Calling a spade a spade! Well done Zapiro, well done mate! As \they\ say the truth hurts!

      JKSed - 2012-07-08 20:01

      Until you see your own Grandpa's penis hanged on headlines and Badman's gallery you will never know how JZ's kids feel. You have been raised to believe that you are superior and holy than all humans, especially black South Africans. Your problem is very chronic and historical. You were born in it, you sucked it in every day. We can't blame you, shame.......

  • Noedig Greene - 2012-07-07 11:16

    Stewart here is a joke: which species didn't want 2 sit next 2 a black man in de bus but will leave their precious children with black women at home?= white people during Apartheid. hahaha

  • amelia.basson - 2012-07-07 11:39

    I really fail to see what skin COLOUR has to do with this - I know people with THICK skins & THIN skins. Lighten up! Its time for ALL South Africans to start working & laughing together and ANY HUMOUR is welcome - S.A. and in particular extremely thin-skinned Hitler, has been too damn serious for too long! Sick & tired of fake, pretentious, prim & proper, prudish hypocrites ... relax ... seriously!

      JKSed - 2012-07-08 20:05

      True, you fail to see what color has to do with it. You have been taught that it is just normal to insult and disrespect other humans. It is just so normal for you to display penises of other people, call it art and be obsessed with it just like that. It is your own failure but you are not to blame dear.

  • antin.herinck - 2012-07-07 13:35

    "it is an attempt to encourage conformity rather than real diversity." There, he said it. That's what's wrong with this whole meaningless, fruitless waste-of-time talk-shop. ANC logic: "You are either with us -or against us. If you are against us, you must learn how to be part of the "social cohesion" drive." ANC, kindly stick your cohesion where the sun don't shine! The ANC fracks up SA day by day, they deliberately and often use the race card to deflect from this, but then have the unmitigated gall to blather about "social cohesion". Mad and dumb like a freaking hatter

  • Charms - 2012-07-07 16:15

    Oh please...Shapiro, dont just draw cartoons of this (not mine) Predisdent only...there are many others in the ANC who would make a lovely picture LOL...we can then do a special 'open" galary show and sell them all...Money can go towards service delivery where it is needed most!!!

  • manu.dibango.96 - 2012-07-07 16:16

    "The social cohesion summit because it is an attempt to encourage conformity rather than real diversity." - Zapiro LOL does this person realise that the very fact that he his willing to live in a constitutional democracy means that he is a conformist? And now the same person wants to preach diversity as if diversity is the opposite of conformity.

      antin.herinck - 2012-07-07 19:44

      ANC-logic, and to make it official he adds "LOL". The fact that one lives in a beautiful country that's ruined by your ANC does not mean that one "conforms" with your abysmal rule. Not that you will understand, but here goes. -To conform: the act of matching attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to group norms. i.e. be a good, uncritical ANCer. -Diversity: the state or fact of being diverse; difference; unlikeness. 2. variety; multiformity. 3. a point of difference. See? "Matching" VS "unlikeness" = opposite. (LOL)

  • david.a.meyer.925 - 2012-07-07 18:24

    Zapiro needs to learn to distinguish between satire and abuse. The cartoon is not funny and it does not make a political point of any significance. It is simply insulting.

  • elkita.robbertse - 2012-07-07 19:09

    fannie,what president???

      JKSed - 2012-07-09 07:26

      You are a historically racists woman born and raised to believe you are a super being than any one, especially blacks. It is not going to be possible to save you. That is why you are obsessed with penises of black men. Until you see your oupa's own penis on headlines you will never know how Zuma's kids are hurting. Thanks to the same Zuma, Julius and other stupid guys were kicked out for trying to create stupid Zimbabwe to make life difficult for you. Enjoy your racists slurs and find amusement in anything that can hurt another human being. Stupid!

  • siphamandla.zondi - 2012-07-07 23:26

    Exchanges in response to Zapiro just goes to show that it is dangerous to use the adjective "we" without referring to "them" when referring to SA people. The division of views between largely black and white readers is worrying as it can lead to racialised violence, crime and God knows whatelse.... it is good to read how each disrespects the other...

  • fanie.gerber.98 - 2012-07-08 17:40

    always have been this way hand two South Africans a rope and they start pulling against eachother

  • JKSed - 2012-07-08 19:56

    As long as one group of our populace remains unapologetically convinced that they and they alone are human and superior than others, social cohesion . They can draw anybody's penis and hide their racial intentions behind anything including art and journalism. When their Oupa De Klerk left old poor Marike to eventually die alone in a lonely flat, their artist never thought of drawing any private parts. They will never understand how Zuma's kids hurt Unti they see their own Grandpa's light skinned penises on headlines. Zuma parted with stupid friends like Juju to prevent dispossession of white land as in Zim. The unthankful racists!

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