Jonathan Shapiro, the famous satirist Zapiro, has again skirted the controversial with his latest cartoon.
It appears as an homage to his “Rape of Lady Justice” cartoon that appeared in the Sunday Times on 2008, which depicts President Jacob Zuma unbuckling his pants, while then-ANCYL leader Julius Malema, and then-tripartite alliance leaders Gwede Mantashe of the ANC, Zwelinzima Vavi of Cosatu and the SACP’s Blade Nzimande pin Lady Justice to the ground.
The 2008 cartoon drew a strong reaction, with many at the time calling into question the apparent trivialisation of rape and rape culture, as well as the “disrespectful” nature of the depiction of the president.
The cartoon was in response to the alliance’s defense of Zuma’s raft of corruption charges he faced.
The April 11 cartoon was drawn in a similar vein, but instead of Lady Justice, the woman was depicted wearing a South African flag, and was being pinned down by editor Moegsien Williams representing ANN7 and the New Age, State Security Minister David Mahlobo representing “State Organs”, and Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini representing “Cronies Inc.”
This time, Zuma is buckling up his pants, apparently having finished with SA, handing over to Atul Gupta who is undoing his pants, saying “she’s all yours, boss,” in reference to state capture.
As with Zapiro’s 2008 cartoon, the “Rape of South Africa” published by the Daily Maverick drew both praise and criticism.
Zapiro, had earlier explained that he was aware that rape was the most “violent and disgusting” crime that could be done to a woman, but it captured his feelings towards President Jacob Zuma, the Gupta family and attempts at state capture.
“I think the original cartoon over which he sued me for four years but had to drop, holds absolutely true, and I feel now that it’s reached a point where so many other people are saying similar things,”
“I felt it was now time to take it one step further, and show that it’s not the justice system that has been affected, but the whole country, and he has invited other people to get involved in state capture.”
Questioning Zapiro about whether the cartoon had been sensitive to rape survivors, he said the drawing itself was a metaphor that applies to all South Africans.