[responding to the outcry that this cartoon has caused]
"Cartoonists and the broader public should have the democratic right to be irreverent about leaders, especially leaders who display hypocrisy.
I didn't put "The Spear" back on the agenda. I responded to reports that it would be discussed at the Social Cohesion Summit.
The ANC asks why I didn't come to the summit: I wasn't invited. If I had gone there, I'd have said dissident views are vital in a democracy and are a force for change. The Spear issue was not resolved properly. The ANC bullied the Goodman gallery and the City Press into compromising. Freedom of expression suffered a blow.
My latest cartoon is meant to be scathing but humorous. It’s also serious commentary about a seriously flawed, hypocritical leader."
[DECEMBER 2012, on M&G.com]: "When the Social Cohesion Summit was announced shortly after The Spear saga, it was reported that The Spear would be discussed. I was still fuming at the ANC’s bullying of everyone involved with the painting. I had done this illustrated limerick for a friend’s birthday party and that’s where it should have stayed. It lacks the nuance I usually layer my cartoons with and it drew rebukes from my detractors (as expected) as well as from many who are usually on my side. Not my proudest moment".
READ ON BENEATH THE CARTOON for a story which first appeared on News24.
Zapiro's latest cartoon may have gone too far, but so has the behaviour of some of South Africa's leaders, whose morals are, to say the least, questionable, the Christian Democratic Party says.
Born in Cape Town in 1958, Zapiro couldn’t imagine a career in cartooning, so he studied architecture at University of Cape Town.
Couldn’t imagine a career in architecture, so…>
Raising the Spear
THIS CARTOON WAS RANKED FIRST IN THE M&G's 10 Most Popular ZAPIRO cartoons of 2012. See his note in the Sidelines column above.
AS WOULD BE EXPECTED, ZAPIRO's LATEST CARTOON has been criticised by supporters of President Jacob Zuma, and has even united the fragmented Tripartite Alliance in its condemnation. It has also received criticism from Zapiro fans for its crassness in subject matter and hurried style. But it has also received much support, some of it from unlikely quarters such as the Christian Democratic Party (CDP), as the following SAPA report tells us:
ZAPIRO HIGHLIGHTS QUESTIONABLE MORALS
Johannesburg - Zapiro's latest cartoon may have gone too far, but so has the behaviour of some of South Africa's leaders, the Christian Democratic Party (CDP) said on Tuesday.
"The CDP would say that Zapiro has gone too far. Shockingly so," said CDP leader Theunis Botha in a statement.
"Yet, on the other hand, we have a president and many others holding public office, whose morals are, to say the least, questionable and whose influence is causing the nation to draw further away from what is morally and ethically acceptable."
The cartoon by Jonathan Shapiro depicts an erect penis with a showerhead and legs standing before a mirror with an accompanying limerick about Zuma.
Headed "The Spear to be raised at Social Cohesion Summit", the cartoon was published in the Mail & Guardian on Friday.
The CDP believed leaders should be respected but in turn, they should display the utmost integrity.
"On the other hand those involved in journalism, such as Zapiro, should fearlessly defend the truth and in the public interest expose those leaders who are corrupt and who negatively affect the moral standards of the nation by setting a bad example."
Botha said it was not possible to take sides in this matter.
"How can we even consider taking sides, when the decadent state of our nation has brought this terrible situation upon us?
"The very people who should be putting their house in order are now telling another to put his house in order.
"Apologies are threateningly being demanded of Zapiro. Yet our leaders cover up their actions and refuse to apologise."
Botha called on all parties, particularly those in leadership, to put their houses in order.
- SAPA [via News24]