EWN must apologise for racist cartoon - COSATU

Federation says organisation should also refuse to publish further work by artists responsible

COSATU condemns EWN cartoon

The Congress of South African Trade Unions condemns the racist cartoon published on the Eye Witness News website, which implies that black voters who voted for the African National Congress (ANC) are ‘clowns' for having voted for various ANC minister depicted in the cartoon (see here).

While the attack on the individual ministers can be regarded as fair comment (though why accidently falling off a chair should be regarded as a political problem is beyond comprehension), the generalised insult that all, but specifically African, voters are ‘clowns' is grossly offensive and racist.

The 62.15% of South African voters who voted for the ANC were not voting for particular individuals but for a party and a movement which led the struggle for their liberation and which they still see as the part most qualified to promote their interests. It is legitimate to say that one disagrees with their decision but totally out of order to suggest that, as ‘clowns', they were voting out of ignorance or frivolity.

While welcoming Redi Tlhabi's partial apology on Talk Radio 702, which conceded that it was wrong to generalise about all ANC voters being ‘clowns', COSATU demands that EWN, and its owner Primedia, must admit that the cartoon was also racist in the way it also falsely portrayed ANC voting ‘clowns' as exclusively black, and must issue a formal apology and refuse to continue to publish work by the cartoonist responsible.

Statement issued by COSATU national spokesperson, Patrick Craven, May 30 2014

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