Our good friend from South Africa, cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (who goes by the pen name “Zapiro”) has found himself in hot water once again over a recent cartoon he drew showing South African President Jacob Zuma preparing to “rape” a woman labeled “Free Speech”.
In the cartoon for the Mail & Guardian newspaper (pictured on the right), Zuma is shown unbuclking his belt, while African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe holds a woman depicting press freedom. Lady Justice is also drawn, and shouts: “Fight, sister, fight!!”
It draws parallels with a controversial cartoon Zapiro drew back in 2008, depicting Zuma, complete with trademark shower-head, unbuckling his belt as he prepared to rape the figurative Lady Justice. Zapiro and the Sunday Times where the cartoon appeared are currently being sued by the government for 5 million Rand (about $730,000).
“Careful thought was given to it,” Zapiro said of the most recent cartoon. “I discussed it with the editor (Nic Dawes) as I always do when a cartoon has the potential to be explosive.”
“We are disgusted by the cartoon,” ANC spokesperson Brian Sokutu told the Mail & Guardian. “We believe in the freedom of the press and freedom of expression and we can’t stop people expressing their opinion. It is the [cartoon’s] depiction more than the message.”
What do you think? Is the cartoon fair, or does it cross the line? Comment below and let us know.