ANC heads to HRC over cartoon, tweet and Thuli

2014-06-05 04:30

Johannesburg - The ANC on Wednesday lodged a formal complaint with the SA Human Rights Commission over a 'racist' and 'insulting' cartoon, a tweet and a published comment by the public protector.

"Since the fifth democratic elections were held on 7 May, there has been [an] unprecedented public onslaught directed at the great majority of those who turned out to... elect the government of their choice, in this instance the African National Congress," the party's chief whip Stone Sizani wrote in his official complaint to the SAHRC.

He said that the "demeaning racial material and insulting media commentary" undermined the constitutional rights of ANC voters.

Sizani requested that the commission investigate a cartoon published on the Eyewitness News website, a picture tweeted by Democratic Alliance MP Mike Waters, and comments made by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela which were published by The Star newspaper on the Independent Online website.

Late last month, the ANC held a protest march after EWN posted a cartoon, titled "Congress of Clowns. And the clowns who voted them in" on its website.

The cartoon depicts two groups of clowns, one identified as the newly appointed ministers shown with big red noses and the other group identified as voters accompanied by a description reading "we the poephols".

EWN, Primedia and the cartoon's creators Dr Jack & Curtis subsequently apologised.

Following these apologies, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza said the party would take no further action.

"We will leave it to Primedia to deal with the matter internally. They have apologised and we are happy they are dealing with it," he said at the time.

However, in his human rights complaint, Sizani said that while the creators of the cartoon had apologised, "the cartoon represents the persisting racism, violation of inherent human rights and dignity within our society, and should therefore be subjected to a formal investigation".

The party's hope was that this would dissuade others from creating similar material, he said.

"This will also afford the commission an opportunity to provide the public with an authoritative guidance on such matters for future reference."

DA tweet

The ANC's complaint was also directed at a picture that the DA's Waters tweeted this week which showed a pack of dogs lining up to urinate on a photograph of Jacob Zuma that was placed against a tree.

"The picture is highly demeaning [and] racist," said Sizani in the complaint.

After the tweet was posted on Monday, Waters subsequently deleted the image and apologised on the social network, Twitter.

In the complaint to the commission, Sizani said that Water's influential position had to be taken into account, as his "conduct has the potential to stoke racial intolerance, hatred and prejudice".

Sizani said that the commission needed to investigate the matter in order to send a strong message condemning racism to "Mr Water's ilk" and the Democratic Alliance - which the ANC said had not taken action against him.

Madonsela's comments

The third complaint related to an article published online in which Madonsela compares ANC voters to an abused spouse.

The Star article reported that at a University of Johannesburg function, Madonsela said South Africans did not vote for the current government because they endorsed maladministration, but because they hoped that things would change.

"Abused women don’t stay because they enjoy the abuse, they stay because they hope things will change," she was quoted as saying at the time.

"The comments by... Madonsela... are highly unjustifiable for a person in her position," said Sizani in his SAHRC complaint.

"The metaphorical comparison used by the Public Protector to mock the voters is also offensive to many women who bear the brunt of sexual or gender violence."

Sizani said in his complaint that he believed these three "attacks" violated the right to freedom of association, political choice and dignity of ANC voters.

Responding to the submission of the complaint, DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said that Waters had admitted that his tweet was "ill-conceived and offensive and had apologised profusely".

She said that "given the huge case load of the commission, this might be a little bit of an excessive action".

Responding to the ANC's concerns that the party had not dealt seriously enough with the incident, Van Damme said: "Waters had apologised to the party and we are reviewing our social media policy to make sure this doesn't happen again".

Meanwhile, EWN editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis said that the decision of the ANC to lay the complaint had been noted.

"They are well within their rights. The process just needs to take its course."

Oupa Segalwe from the Public Protector's office said the office would comment on the matter shortly.

  • sarel.lotz - 2014-06-05 04:56

    The truth always hurts

      Peter Michael Staffen - 2014-06-05 08:37

      well said

      Bullet Proof - 2014-06-05 18:19

      They are stopping my posts News 24 "Dictatorship"?

      Mike Lindsay - 2014-06-06 12:04

      If I had voted for the ANC in all the previous elections, I would feel that my vote had been abused - by those I'd mistakenly placed in positions of trust and to represent me / my community. Note that the above is not a cartoon, but a statement of fact !

  • Bob Mearly - 2014-06-05 05:12

    ANC like whining puppies now.

      Czwe Da GreatOne - 2014-06-05 09:06

      Very funny. I guess it is only the DA that can run to courts and use our Chapter 9 institutions.

      DerekMain - 2014-06-05 12:50

      Why doesn't cANCer take their issue to court instead of the HRC which is just a cANCer lackey organisation? Because they know they would never succeed in court.

  • gerry.klos - 2014-06-05 05:20


  • Dirk Engelbrecht - 2014-06-05 05:23

    When the ANC is racist or says something its fine, but when the boards are turned you want to run to the HRC... Sob sob sob... I might just cry or LAUGH...

  • Graham Jehoma - 2014-06-05 05:27

    Klip...Stone....nothing to do in parlement?....but reading cartoons?the next 5 years I forsee nothing but ANC chaos....

  • Willie Olivier - 2014-06-05 05:29

    I'm sorry to say but there will never be unity amongst south africans while the anc is in power.

      Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-06-05 08:47

      The will never be a unity as long we have mind set that think like ROBOTS that everyone must think the same or be perfect. Show me any person who is perfect, I bet you will point yourself. You just want to insult belittle and tell the world how stupid black cartoon me is. That's your word not mine.

      DerekMain - 2014-06-05 12:58

      @Neliswa - I don't think you're stupid because you're black - I think you're stupid because of the things you say! Phansi cANCer, phansi!!!

      Siyanda.Mda - 2014-06-05 20:05

      You as well, you are just as racist as your DA Parliamentarians.

      NoeNoe - 2014-06-05 23:17

      I am sorry but I cannot understand why the anc is always accusing others of racism when they actively promote racism and hatred themselves. They are the ULTIMATE hypocrites.

  • Ntshalle Stella Nake - 2014-06-05 05:42

    Are you guys for real? Le na le nako ya go tshameka. Complaining and being emotional over a cartoon like 6 year olds?...sigh..we really have a long way to go in this country.

      Jonathan Woods - 2014-06-05 07:54

      Nake, what I see are very definite signs of extreme panic and paranoia in the current zanc. Many cracks are appearing and panic is setting in with many of the older rats already jumping ship to avoid drowning !

      Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-06-05 08:59

      You are right.

  • Rias Thamm - 2014-06-05 05:42

    I dont think these guys actually know what Racism means. Im not really suprised, they probably dont know lots of words. Just because something is done to a black man doesn't make it racist. You can actually dislike someone because he's an idiot and not because he's black. I think it says more about the racism of the anc that it does of the cartoonist and those other people mentioned

      Rias Thamm - 2014-06-05 09:19

      So because i cant write in zulu it makes it okay for our leadership to be uneducated fools? I finished school, i finished varsity, i worked hard for what i have.. What did he do? What did you do? Exactly

      Brad Nuttal - 2014-06-05 09:49

      @Neliswa. Molo, unjunai? That is exactly what I am doing. Learning to speak Xhosa. Rapidly. So that I can have conversations with Xhosa people, in their mother tongue, and reach their hearts, and give my reasoning why apartheid will never return, and why the DA is a better choice. Should have done this a long while back, but never too late to start!

      Siyanda.Mda - 2014-06-05 20:06

      You as well, you are just as racist as your DA Parliamentarians.

  • Valerie Vale - 2014-06-05 05:43

    Haha said the clown! Stop insulting the dogs!

      William MacFarlane - 2014-06-05 09:03

      I agree , the dogs were only doing what comes naturally , ( or is it jealously , if everyone who wanted to raise their leg to a booma poster did so . )

      Magezi Mhlengwe - 2014-06-05 19:38

      Thuli is right whether we ALL like it or not. It is shameful some fat-cats will rebuke her to divert attention. While the "dogs" might have been over the top, the "clowns" is still as accurate a depiction of politics in this country as Thuli's.

  • Andre Wagner - 2014-06-05 05:48

    Until the racism word is removed from sA society it will always be used as an excuse by the majority. If voters vote to keep a government that can't provide in basic needs and are corrupt the poephols deserve every clown they chose

      Tersia Louw - 2014-06-05 23:07

      It's not the word that needs removing, Andre, it's people like Zuma who spread racism as much as they can.

      Tersia Louw - 2014-06-05 23:08

      It's not the word that needs removing, Andre, it's people like Zuma who spread racism as much as they can.

      Tersia Louw - 2014-06-05 23:08

      It's not the word that needs removing, Andre, it's people like Zuma who spread racism as much as they can.

      Tersia Louw - 2014-06-05 23:09

      It's not the word that needs removing, Andre, it's people like Zuma who spread racism as much as they can.

  • mzuvukile.mbanjana - 2014-06-05 06:11

    Why is it Stone who is lodging such a complaint? Is he not entrusted to look at parliamentary matter? I believe that the office of the GS should be the one lodging the complaint on behalf of the ANC.Order!

      Edward Radingoana - 2014-06-05 07:31

      Unfortunately, in ANC they do not know how to differentiate the Party and the Government. That is why Zuma has made Treasury his petty cash purse for private use

      Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-06-05 09:04

      Brain has lot of rooms you can't do one thing like a ROBOT. Thank you sir.

      Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-06-05 12:36

      Unfortunately ROBOT DA can't differentiate between human rights and hate.

  • Stephen AndKathy Whiteley - 2014-06-05 06:14

    Why don't they grow up and act like leaders instead of tit-for-tat schoolchildren? Can you imagine the court cases in Britain if the ruling party took every incident of fun-poking to court? If one is so sensitive one mustn't aim to be in the public eye. Kathy

      Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-06-05 09:07

      This is South Africa not Britain, the is a history one must not forget and thank you for making sure that I don't forget where we come from.

  • Lesiba Truezer Mojela - 2014-06-05 06:16

    nthng bt de truth is all about nkandla

      Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-06-05 09:13

      Say what you want say about Nkandla I have ears and brain. I don't need cartoon picture or dogs to understand you.

  • Jange Gcobisa - 2014-06-05 06:26

    I'm so fed up with this ANCs nonsence! Complaining about the cartoon, the dogs and also of thuli madonsela's comment. mxm WTF taking some actions in unnecessary things while ignoring the real problems that we are facing in our country??

      Outa Kontext - 2014-06-06 14:12

      I would have said they had cause for complaining, but then they brought in Thuli and it became abundantly clear that all they want to do is divert attention from the very real problems and corruption in the ANatsC.

      Gat Vol - 2014-06-06 18:57

      That would mean they actually need to do something constructive about the strikes crippling the economy,'s just easier to cry racist and collect the taxes!!!

  • Wayne Piper - 2014-06-05 06:26

    So it's OK from the ANC and blacks in general to use words like "boer", "clever black", "colonial" and "coconut" when they describe SA citizens they do not like? F*ck them!!!

      Jonathan Woods - 2014-06-05 08:10

      Azana one is only affected if one takes offence. and by doing so confirm that one is still shackled to an enormous sense of inadequacy and inferiority!

  • John Robert Francis King - 2014-06-05 06:28

    Easier for the ANC to deal with silly stuff than real issues like education, corruption, employment .....

  • Thabo Molefe - 2014-06-05 06:36

    U ppl must stop comparing urselfs with cartoons, u r humans, stop being stupid and think

  • Kirsty Prinsloo - 2014-06-05 06:41

    Anc does not mind freedom of speech as long as its not against them. Then your rights don't matter.

  • Trevor Mashilo - 2014-06-05 06:42

    Thuli said it like it is!!!!

  • George Wood - 2014-06-05 06:44

    Honestly, the truth hurts, ANC acting like a bunch of toddlers again! Stoking Racial Intolerance? Please!! People just have Incompetence Intolerance!

  • Tyron Jay Wykerd - 2014-06-05 06:47

    Hahaha, I'm surprised they didn't call Madonsela racist. These guys would call a brick wall racist.

  • leon.toerien - 2014-06-05 06:48

    Shame........wANCers. Only get what you deserve!

  • Andrew McMurray - 2014-06-05 06:50


  • John Stoltz - 2014-06-05 06:53

    Thuli, you are so far above the current ANC leadership, no wonder they try to nail you!! Pity you will be relaced by another incompetent and corrupt deployed cadre!! The ANC cannot stand the idea of an honest person with integrity!!

  • Tsiyetsi Sydney Monare - 2014-06-05 06:54

    It was not petty when malema was taken to court

  • Mike Machaba - 2014-06-05 06:56

    Cry babies!!!

  • Hans Baer - 2014-06-05 06:57

    There was nothing wrong with the example made by Thuli. It is just that they(ANC) have a serious vendeta against her because the Nkandla findings. Where are we going with this kind of attitude?

  • Sipho Simon Mogale - 2014-06-05 07:00

    If u make a mistake and you say sorry what does it mean ANC is Racism itself

  • Sakhiwo - 2014-06-05 07:03

    I think that metaphoric comparism by Adv. Thuli Madonsela is a perfect one for me to the ANC & ANC voters. I might be one of them but that doesn't offend me.We keep voting for ANC bcoz we hope it will change for the better and we know this is not the ANC we used to know but we just hope it'll change

      Jonathan Woods - 2014-06-05 08:45

      Sadly Sakhiwo, both hope and religion can be the most destructive forces that humans have ever subjected themselves to. The reality is that if you are not prepared to do something for yourself and those around you it will never happen. And all that you do is sit fro a very long time "hoping " for change that never comes. After loosing in wars. Countries like Germany, Japan or South Korea didn't sit and hope , they stood up and made things happen. Now look at where they in the modern World ! South Africa will not survive and progress with the majority of people just waiting and hoping. South Africa can not survive and progress with more grant recipients than people with actual jobs South Africa can not survive and progress with more people employed in the public sector ( government ) than the private sector ( business ). That is why voting again for the zanc and hoping it will change is like watching a pot of water hoping it will boil without having made the fire! And the best way to make a political party perform and do what they should be doing is to vote them out, and give the responsibility to someone else until you , as the people get what you are voting for.

      Alan Kennedy - 2014-12-31 08:33

      I hope, one day, to see Santa Claus

  • Edward Radingoana - 2014-06-05 07:04

    ANC, the mother body behaves like its Youth League this time. They are so confused that they are unable to agree internally. Kodwa accepted the apology but Stone take it further. Who is in charge of the other? Seemingly this term will just be special for new not delivery services

  • Kgosi Motleleng Mosana - 2014-06-05 07:11

    About the cartoons, they are very funny! What Thuli said, was said by Kenny Kunene last year on Kaya FM that cANCer voters are like an abused women after his letter to JZ, and nothing has been done, but now the same thing is said by Thuli, its a big issue, grow up morons!!!

      Neliswa Mlondolozi - 2014-06-05 10:18

      Maybe if you start first and stop being a ROBOT I will stop being a moron.

      Shaun Cousins - 2014-06-05 16:53

      In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

  • Michael Kleber - 2014-06-05 07:14

    I wish these people would be as vociferous about Nkandla and all the corruption which to me is more harming than a few dogs lifting their legs on a picture

  • Martha Markovsky - 2014-06-05 07:19

    How do any of the above amount to racism? The DA tweet is derogatory to Jcob Zuma. I'm not defending it but its not racist. The EWN cartoon is a satire on the ANC and its voters, it makes no comment on race. Thuli's statement speaks of voters and abused women, not race. This is getting ridiculous- don't like something?- just label it as racism... the weather in Cape Town is terrible this week, but everywhere else in SA its ok- clearly the earth's atmospheric system is racist and should be reported to the HRC

  • Rendani Nemavhidi - 2014-06-05 07:19

    No matter how angry some of us may be about issues of governance the right of voters to choose whoever should be non negotiable. The persistent attack on the right to choose is both selfish and racial supremacist tendency at its best. This tendency implies that white parties don't need to change to appeal to blacks but blacks must abandon their identity, aspirations and right to choose and fall in line with thinking of white parties. Mike Waters should know better how dangerous these tendencies are.

      Jonathan Woods - 2014-06-05 09:01

      Yes Rendani, but only if those voting decisions were based on intelligent, educated analysis, that can be backed up by intelligent argument and debate. Otherwise they are even more selfish because they are based on irrational emotional clap trap, and we end up with exactly what we have currently. Being ruled by those least qualified to do the job !

      Mariner - 2014-06-06 08:03

      Rendani. The RIGHT to choose is not being addressed in the cartoon. The WISDOM of the choices made is being questioned. The comedic instrument is the play on words substituting poephol for people. While it might and i stress MIGHT be in poor taste it certainly has no white supremacist origins (where do you get that?) white? Parties? NO other parties are represented so no inferences concerning them can be drawn. In short YOU are seeing what you want to see. One could make a case for racism on your part for your interpretation but i am not going to bother. Grow up, for the love of our country.

      Mariner - 2014-06-06 08:03

      Rendani. The RIGHT to choose is not being addressed in the cartoon. The WISDOM of the choices made is being questioned. The comedic instrument is the play on words substituting poephol for people. While it might and i stress MIGHT be in poor taste it certainly has no white supremacist origins (where do you get that?) white? Parties? NO other parties are represented so no inferences concerning them can be drawn. In short YOU are seeing what you want to see. One could make a case for racism on your part for your interpretation but i am not going to bother. Grow up, for the love of our country.

      Mariner - 2014-06-06 08:03

      Rendani. The RIGHT to choose is not being addressed in the cartoon. The WISDOM of the choices made is being questioned. The comedic instrument is the play on words substituting poephol for people. While it might and i stress MIGHT be in poor taste it certainly has no white supremacist origins (where do you get that?) white? Parties? NO other parties are represented so no inferences concerning them can be drawn. In short YOU are seeing what you want to see. One could make a case for racism on your part for your interpretation but i am not going to bother. Grow up, for the love of our country.

      Alan Kennedy - 2014-12-31 08:36

      People say "racist" and "white supremacist" like it's the worst insult and will silence further comment. A tired old strategy which has passed it's sell-by date...

  • Andrew M - 2014-06-05 07:22

    The kettle calling the pot black. The biggest racists of all are now crying like little babies when they get a dose of their own medicine.

  • Victor Whitepaw - 2014-06-05 07:31

    All three pictured in this article I don't find as racism. Maybe in poor taste, but that is another argument. ---- When you search for racism you are a racist. ---- -- Especially when you find racism where non exist. --

  • Patty Gaby - 2014-06-05 07:31


  • JJ Van Zyl - 2014-06-05 07:36

    Whenever you get criticized you call it racism. There is a difference between the two and you can't handle the first. Just deflecting tactics. You cannot tell what to think, what to say and what to do. This is not a dictatorship although you wish it was. ZANC is worse than the old NP dictatorship.

  • Alan Robertson - 2014-06-05 07:38

    The ANC should be investigated for their unconstitutional attacks on freedom of speech...

  • EugĂ©ne Germishuys - 2014-06-05 07:38

    You know when you are dead, you dont know it buy it effects everyone else around you? It's the same when you are stupid.

  • Vince Muller - 2014-06-05 07:39

    Why shy away from the truth???? and comments about majority... yes, this country is ran by the majority and has been created into a 3rd, poor begging country... apart from certain elements becoming stinking rich, and most proberbly the worst public sector in the world... ANC, stop fooling yourselves... you're in the shadow of the prior 94 government...

  • Vusi Sithole - 2014-06-05 07:41

    Right decision

  • Nana Zulu - 2014-06-05 07:41

    The truth is always a bitter pill to swallow. I may not condone the images but Thuli made an honest opinion which is the reality we are exposed to daily in our families. You always hope for a better tomorrow and a positive change because in the beginning it was not so (there was no abuse in the marriage or relationship)

  • Lionel Sazi - 2014-06-05 07:43

    anc use anything possible to hit back on thuli in defending zuma which is disgusting anyway.

  • themba.nsele.71 - 2014-06-05 07:44

    She must resign. Finish and Clara. She is exposing and confirming the allegations that she was an agent way before the election and here mandate was to destroy pres Zuma. Now she failed and she makes these nonsense statement. Let her resign.

      Jonathan Woods - 2014-06-05 09:12

      Themba, go down to the pawn shop and buy yourself a brain that functions correctly.

  • Danie Gerber - 2014-06-05 07:51

    In other words... The ANC can say just what they want in public...which is according to them not oppressend and harmful!? Please practice what you preach!! These complaints is nonsense, childish and laughtable! Face the truth and don't always try to cover your critics through this absurd actions.

  • willem.louw.16 - 2014-06-05 07:53

    We have spoken in metaphors since the dawn of time... I think SA should mostly the ANC should wake up. Label something racist does not automatically justify your argument . Everything is racist. If you criticize the ruling party your a racists. If you speak out against corruption, your a racist. Problem is, they have desensitized the public to the concept and label of racism. I din't care being labeled a racist - because I know I discriminate not based on skin or ethnics, but against corruption, lies and criminal activity. Getting called a racist by people who do not seem to comprehend what the word means is as annoying as any racial slur. But I'm a big boy. I brush it off and think: ag shame, he/she doesn't know any better. Political correctness is for pansies who can't handle the truth and needs everything sugar coated or they are offended. I wonder how much time money and effort is spent yearly being offended.....

      Alan Kennedy - 2014-12-31 08:40

      Exactly; and when the basic slur fails, some switch into worn-out overdrive and play the "white supremacist" [capitalist thief] card -

  • jacqui.vanzweeden - 2014-06-05 07:56

    How is it racist that dogs pee against a tree with Zuma face on it? Would it be racist if Zuma where white? Stupid stupid people. Blacks have no understanding of racism really is.

      Mariner - 2014-06-06 08:37

      does it depend on what race the dogs are do you think?

  • Roddy Jardim - 2014-06-05 07:58

    Ah if only they had enough intelligence to understand satire.

  • Neil Alberts - 2014-06-05 07:58

    The SAHRC should rather spend all their resources and investigate racism, hatred, violence, genocide, corruption and all breaches of the constitution of SA against the anc and its cronies. Absolutely ridiculous how quickly the anc cries foul and plays the victim when they themselves are actually causing it.