African National Congress President Jacob Zuma has filed a libel suit against editorial cartoonist Jonathan “Zapiro” Shapiro for the amount of $712,300 over a controversial cartoon published in September that depicted Lady Justice being held down by four ANC members who urged Zuma to rape her. Zuma had been charged with rape in 2005, but was later acquitted.
The two recently exchanged words during a call-in radio program where Zuma was the guest. Zuma said, “Even in places where I’ve been found not guilty, he continues to find me guilty. He can’t be right. He’s totally out of order.” Zapiro called in to counter that the cartoon was an an expression of free speech. He said, “I am a columnist, a visual columnist. I comment on what you do and what you say. And you are a public figure. You are the one with the power, not me. And you just turn it on its head and act the victim.”