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Zapiro's ZA News hits the screens

By Xolani Shezi | Mar 01, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

CONTROVERSIAL puppets comic ZA News will finally hit TV screens tomorrow after being snubbed by the SABC and for years.

The show will be broadcast for five minutes every day starting tomorrow on Summit TV - channel 412 on DStv.

Like Sowetan, Summit TV is part of Avusa Media.

Cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (aka Zapiro) and his partner, film and TV producer Thierry Cassuto, announced this during the last day of Design Indaba 2010 in Cape Town at the weekend.

ZA News comprises a hilarious dialogue by life-size puppets of some of South Africa's most notable politicians such as President Jacob Zuma, DA leader Helen Zille, ANC Youth League's Julius Malema, Eugene Terreblanche, former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Springbok coach Pieter de Villiers.

Shapiro and Cassuto told delegates that after being given a budget of about R1million to put together a pilot by SABC, the broadcaster changed its tune about proceeding and airing the show because Dali Mpofu, its CEO at the time, said the South African public was "not ready for this".

The disappointment of being denied TV access led Shapiro and Cassuto to find a new home for ZA News online with the assistance of sponsors like

Today, it has over 20000 fans on Facebook, the social network.

The delegates at the Design Indaba 2010 were treated to snippets of season two of ZA News. One episode, dubbed Baby By Me, featuring Yo-Ju (Julius Malema), has a puppet of Zuma rapping to the latest 50 Cent song of the same title while a woman puppet is seducing him.

In another episode, a female psychologist "counsels" JZ while he's lying on his back. Towards the end of it, JZ asks her what her plans for the evening are - to which she brushes him aside.


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