COSATU condemns Zapiro cartoon

Statement issued by national spokesperson Patrick Craven September 8 2008

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is utterly disgusted by the Zapiro cartoon in the Sunday Times on 7 September 2008.

Zapiro has in the past been a great friend of COSATU and the workers' struggle. Even when we disagreed with his view, we laughed and appreciated his skill. Many of his cartons featuring COSATU leaders adorn the walls of COSATU House.

While we accept that cartoonists have the licence to express controversial views, yesterday's cartoon is in extremely bad taste and goes way beyond limits of acceptability.

Firstly, it implies, and seeks to reinforce the view, that Jacob Zuma, despite having been found not guilty of the charges against him, is indeed a rapist. It is thus highly defamatory and was clearly intended to poison the minds of the readers against the ANC President and support the campaign to discredit and depose him.

Secondly, the use of a women who is about to be raped to represent the Justice system is grossly insensitive in the context of a crisis of rape and violence against women.

We demand that the Sunday Times publish an apology.

Statement issued by COSATU September 8 2008