Zapiro cartoon disgusting - ANCWL

League says cartoon is an insult to those who suffered under the indignity of Apartheid


The ANCWL condemns in the strongest possible terms the disgusting and completely distasteful depiction of the President in the latest Zapiro cartoon (see here). Jonathan Shapiro has taken his attempts at satire too far. He clearly does not understand the reasons for the public outcry over "The Spear" and why it was hurtful to so many people.

The cartoon is an insult to those who suffered under the indignity of Apartheid and a slap in the face to real efforts for the social cohesion of our fragile society. Shapiro is showing his disregard for the healing process which is currently underway in South Africa after the divisive era before democracy.

The furore created by "The Spear" is a clear indication that we still have a long way to go. The Zapiro cartoons rely on their shock value to make an impact, but by 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. This cartoon is a clear attempt to fuel divisions in our society and should be condemned by all proud South Africans, regardless of race or political affiliation.

The right to freedom of expression is a right enshrined in the constitution, a constitution pioneered by the ANC, however this right is not absolute and one must always remember a founding principal of our constitution is the right to human dignity, which was denied to so many during apartheid.

The cartoon like the painting before it, is a violation of the President's right to dignity and an insult to the people of South Africa. It serves no public interest what-so-ever and was clearly just an attempt to insult and defame the President further.  Zapiro has gone from being a sometimes controversial, yet relevant satirist to a sensationalist arbiter of attention seeking proper gander released purely for its shock appeal, and serves absolutely no purpose in society.

Jonathan Shapiro has declared a hatred for South Africans with this insult to the President, of not only the ANC but the entire country. This disturbing cartoon was released the day the President will be addressing a massive delegation of women from across all sectors of society who are deeply disgusted by this terrible portrayal of our countries President.

Statement issued by Troy Martens, ANC Women's League spokeswoman, July 6 2012

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