Thursday, December 18, 2008

Zuma Sues South Africa Cartoonist


A cartoon by South African cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro continues to cause controversy 3 months after it was first published. South Africa's ruling party leader Jacob Zuma is suing a cartoonist for $712,300 (£464,200) for damage to his reputation and damage to his dignity, the BBC reports.

The image depicts Zuma, complete with Shapiro's trademark shower-head, unbuckling his belt as he prepares to rape the figurative Lady Justice.

She is held down by Zuma allies Julius Malema, Gwede Mantashe, Blade Nzimande and Zwelinzima Vavi.

Mantashe encourages Zuma, saying, “Go for it, boss!”

"Even in places where I've been found not guilty, he continues to find me guilty. He can't be right. He's totally out of order," Zuma told South Africa's Talk Radio 702.

But Mr Shapiro called up the radio station to defend himselfand his cartoon, claiming Mr Zuma was paying "lip-service to freedom of expression".

"I am a columnist, a visual columnist. I comment on what you do and what you say. And you are a public figure. You are the one with the power, not me," he said.

"And you just turn it on its head and act the victim," he said.

Sunday Times editor Mondli Makhanya said the newspaper had not been served with Zuma’s demands, but would defend itself and Shapiro in court.

“We believe the cartoon reflected the opinion at the time that the judiciary was under attack,” said Makhanya.

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