15 January 2010
The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) is utterly disgusted and incensed by the Zapiro cartoon in today’s Mail & Guardian.
The cartoon by Zapiro depicts the President of the Republic and of the ANC Jacob Zuma unbuckling his pants whilst Lady Justice is being held on the floor by Shabir Shaik and Eugene de Kock. Whilst Lady Justice is his target, for many the image of the woman on the ground alludes back to his charge of rape and thereby seeks to implant in the minds of the public that President Zuma is a rapist, despite being found not guilty of rape by any courts of law in the land.
This venomous and personal hatred of President Zuma camouflaged as an artistic skill by Zapiro is a sign of disrespect not only to President Zuma, but to the office and the position he occupies in society as the fourth democratically elected Head of State.
Whilst we respect and uphold the constitution and freedom of expression, it does not give cartoonists license to undermine the fundamental rights to dignity as guaranteed in the constitution.
This cartoon is highly distasteful, deplorable and boarders on defamation of character, and is clearly intended to poison the minds of the readers and the general public against President Jacob Zuma.
The depiction of our justice system to a woman who is about to be raped is grossly insensitive and reckless in the context of a rampant crisis of rape and violence against women in our country.
We demand that the Mail & Guardian and Zapiro apologizes to President Jacob Zuma and refrain from reckless and offensive cartoons.
We further demand that the South African Human Rights Commission takes drastic action against Zapiro in the interest of safeguarding our constitutional rights to dignity and respect.
National Spokesperson – 083 979 5266
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