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Zapiro says the shower head will stay

Jonathan Shapiro (“Zapiro”), one of the leading cartoonist/satirists in South Africa, has been sued twice by Jacob Zuma who will be sworn in this Saturday as the new president. The legal cases are still in the courts. Despite that threat, Zapiro pledges that he’ll continue to draw Zuma with a shower nozzle over Zuma’s head – a reference to a 2006 rape trial against Zuma who testified that he took a shower to protect himself against AIDS after having sex with a HIV positive woman.

In a country where Mr. Zuma has a near-monopoly on power, where his ruling African National Congress has just recorded an overwhelming majority for the fourth consecutive election, fearless satirists such as Zapiro have emerged as the true opposition.

South Africa has a long tradition of biting satire. Political commentary here is sharper and more acerbic than almost anywhere else in the world. But many of Mr. Zuma’s supporters are unhappy with the mocking portraits of their hero, and there is mounting pressure on the satirists to become a little more deferential.

Community Comments

#1 NoahRodenbeek
April/29/2009
@ 9:12 am

Brilliant! I wish there was a way we could show more support for artists like Mr. Shapiro. If anyone can find anything close to a donate button for him, please share it. Here’s a link to some of his comics…

http://www.cartoonist.co.za/gallery/index.php?gallery=./Zapiro&image=990128mugabe.jpg

#2 Beth Cravens
April/29/2009
@ 11:35 am

Good for Zapiro! It takes some guts to draw in that political climate. How many of us would back down?

#3 Pedro Molina.
April/29/2009
@ 7:29 pm

I alrady said this but he’s one of the bests out there.

#4 Gerald Dudley
April/29/2009
@ 11:36 pm

Here’s hoping he continues to stick to his guns. The day that satirists become deferential is the day the humor dies.

#5 John Auchter
April/30/2009
@ 7:47 am

Well this certainly explains why Zapiro has yet to chime in on webcomics, Photoshop, and the relative merits of the AAEC convention verses the NCS convention….

#6 Jim Lavery
April/30/2009
@ 8:31 am

“The day that satirists become deferential is the day the humor dies.”

Which is why SNL is back to sucking again.

#7 Scott Nickel
April/30/2009
@ 12:54 pm

Rape trial? Sex with an HIV woman? This guy is president?

Wow.

#8 Norm Feuti
April/30/2009
@ 5:25 pm

He thinks a shower can kill AIDS? Forget president, I wouldn’t let this guy mow my lawn.

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