NUMSA CONDEMNS ZAPIRO AND THE MAIL & GUARDIAN!
The National Union of South Africa (NUMSA) condemns the latest cartoon by Zapiro in today’s edition of the Mail & Guardian titled ‘The Spear to be raised at social cohesion’ and which is accompanied by defamatory and disgusting sub-titles “Though sex is his publicised sport; Zuma took the dick-painting to court; Suing Brett’s free expression; Confirmed the impression; He’s as big a dick as we thought’. This is nothing else, but a frontal attack on the personal integrity and social standing of the ANC President Jacob Zuma camouflaged as artistic expression.
The cartoon by Zapiro depicts the ANC President Jacob Zuma in a sexual organ form looking at the defaced and now infamous “The Spear” portrait by Brett Murray. Whilst the “The Spear” is the central message of the cartoon, for many of us, the portraying of the ANC President Zuma as a sexual organ form is not only degrading, inhumane and insultive, but seeks to poison the minds of society that President Zuma is a sexual pest.
There is nothing artistic about this latest cartoon by Zapiro, but it is littered with venomous and deep personal hatred of the incumbent President Jacob Zuma. Whilst we respect and uphold the constitution and freedom of expression, it does not give a wholesale license to cartoonists to undermine the fundamental rights to dignity as guaranteed in the constitution. This cartoon is highly deplorable and borders on character assassination, and is clearly intended to undermine the Office and the position ANC President Zuma occupies in society.
As NUMSA we can come to no other conclusion, but to accept that some White progressives of yesteryear have become racist and colonialist in their outlook since the advent of our new democratic dispensation. The likes of Zapiro and Brett Murray can no longer hide their hatred for Black revolutionaries to drive our society towards a non-racial, non-sexist, democratic, and a society free of super exploitation.
We publicly demand answers from the Mail & Guardian as to why such a disrespectful cartoon was carried out in today’s edition. We further demand a public apology from the cartoonist himself Zapiro for insulting ANC President Zuma.
Lastly, we call on the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to take action against Zapiro in the interest of safeguarding our constitutional right to freedom of expression, including the right to dignity and respect.
Statement issued by Castro Ngobese, NUMSA National Spokesperson, July 6 2012