Readers zap Zuma cartoon

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

The public has reacted with outrage to a cartoon by satirist Zapiro, saying it went too far and was in bad taste.

The cartoon was published in the Sunday Times. It shows ANC president Jacob Zuma unzipping his pants while ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, secretaries general in the tripartite alliance Gwede Mantashe, Blade Nzimande and Zwelinzima Vavi, pin down a blindfolded Lady Justice. A speech bubble quotes Mantashe encouraging Zuma to "go for it".

"Zapiro went too far. He depicts Zuma almost with his pants down. He is saying that Zuma is above the law and can do whatever he wants. It creates a bad impression of South Africa," said Thabiso Moleko.

Nosipho Mbatha, 29, said the reference to rape was in bad taste.

"It plays on something that is vulnerable. It was unnecessary," said Mbatha.

Enoch Tilotsane, 34, said the graphic was disrespectful and undermined Zuma's role as a father.

"Its aim is to discredit Zuma. His children will not respect him if they see him portrayed in newspapers this way."

Portia Ngwenya said the graphic was insensitive to victims of rape.

"Showing a criminal act like that violates women who have been raped," said Ngwenya.

But Mvelo Shandu, 20, praised the cartoonist for taking the government to task.

"If the government has it easy nothing will progress. Hopefully this will make the government think twice about scrapping the Scorpions and [think about] the role of the justice system."

Nick Curzons, 21, said the cartoon was "well thought out and to the point".