Cartoonists stand against media restrictions


South Africa’s top editorial cartoonists have banded together to protest against the government’s intended press restrictions.

In rejecting the proposed Protection of Information Bill and Media Tribunal, they have warned that these restrictions will erode the right to freedom of expression achieved by the country’s hard fought struggle for democracy.

The cartoonists' declaration is presented in an open petition to the government and any others that might challenge this right. It condemns all politically and religiously motivated threats against the media, and also objects “in the strongest of terms to all acts of intimidation being waged against the media in general, and cartoonists in particular.”

Cartoonists' Declaration

The 29 signatories represent a veritable who’s who in South African cartooning, including the creators of four of the country’s most syndicated newspaper strips . Between them, their work is published in almost every major newspaper in the country. The petition was initiated by

Recent threats to media freedom have fired up the country's cartoonists to produce powerful statements against such interference, many drawing parallels with the apartheid regime's propensity for such behaviour. Others have warned that these threats may be the beginning of the end of our miracle democracy.

During this month Africartoons will feature a collection of cartoons on the subject of the free press (and threats to it) which can be viewed via the "Free Press Cartoons" link on the homepage. More cartoons will be added to this collection as the story unfolds, and veteran cartoonists have been invited to contribute their apartheid era cartoons on the subject as a reminder of the implications of state press control. The best of these cartoons will be selected to form a narrative on the theme in an online exhibition to be hosted by the site in the near future.

The signatories of the petition (listed from Andy to Zapiro) are:
Andy (Sunday Times), Brandan (Business Day, Rapport, Weekend Argus), Chip (Cape Argus), Dave Gomersall (Treknet), Deni Brown (Mama Taxi), Dov Fedler (Independent Newspapers), Dr Jack (Mail & Guardian, Noseweek, Pretoria News), F Esterhuyse (Beeld), Findlay (Sondag Son, Sunday Sun),  Fred Mouton (Die Burger), Gavin Thomson (People’s Post, Mama Taxi, Treknet), Grogan (Cape Times), Jerm (The Times, Biggish Five), John Curtis (, Mark Wiggett (The Herald, Weekend Post), Mgobhozi (The Star), Miles (Daily Dispatch), Mothowagae (City Press), Mynderd Vosloo (Beeld), Nanda Soobben (Post), ND Mazin (CCIBA), Qap’s Mngadi (Echo Witness, Isolezwe), Rico (Madam & Eve), Stephen Francis (Madam & Eve), Siwela (Africartoons), Stent (Noseweek), Stidy (The Witness), Yalo (Sowetan) and Zapiro (Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, The Times).

The petition has been sent to all the signatories to forward to their respective newspapers, email to their contacts, and post on their websites, blogs, and facebook pages. Africartoon visitors are invited to join the campaign by doing the same. By clicking on the facebook button ('f share') beneath this story you can post it on your facebook page (as you can do with any of the cartoons on this site). You can also tweet it just as easily if you have a twitter account. And a high resolution version of the petition can be made available for printing purposes as an A4 (1MB) advert or flyers, and A3 poster (2MB) on request via the website's contact form.

Posted on Aug 12, 2010 by Africartoons Bookmark and Share