Zuma suing Zapiro for rape cartoon

South African President Jacob Zuma finally made good on his promise to sue Jonathan Shapiro (pen name “Zapiro”), the editor-in-chief and Avusa Media for a cartoon that ran two years ago depicting Zuma about to rape lady justice. The suit was filed back in 2008 but it just now received by the defendants. Zuma states that the cartoon was done with the intent to “damage his reputation and dignity.”

Zapiro told The Daily Maverick that he was he was puzzled by the claims Zuma made in the suit. “Even in the statement that came from his lawyers, that said the cartoon was understood by the paper’s readers to mean he was abusing the justice system ‘in as vile, degrading and violent a way, as the raping of a woman’, they agreed with me. That is exactly what I was saying. That is how I wanted the readers to respond to it,” he said.

Zuma’s lawyers are painting themselves into a tiny corner, said Zapiro. “Their assessment of what I was trying to do and my assessment of what I was trying to do are going to meet, and a judge will wonder what the problem is, as we essentially agree about what the cartoon was trying to achieve.