Zapiro must grow up and be responsible

Satirist Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) has gone beyond the limits of freedom of expression with his latest cartoon about ANC president Jacob Zuma. It is unpalatable.

Satirist Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) has gone beyond the limits of freedom of expression with his latest cartoon about ANC president Jacob Zuma. It is unpalatable.

Cartoonists have a role to promote dialogue and to inform the public, but the manner in which some of them express themselves harms the integrity of individuals.

Zapiro has made it his business to ridicule Zuma, thereby failing to recognise the effect his cartoons have on the ANC president, his family and his supporters. Satirists should express themselves but should be cautious and sensitive.

The same applies to editors who must have the good sense to think about the consequences of what they publish.

The message in the cartoon is simple: Zuma and his supporters want to rape the justice system. Did Zapiro ponder for a moment about the different interpretations to his latest work? There will be an outcry when the people depicted in the cartoon respond to it. Then they will be accused of trying to suppress freedom of expression.

Despite the court ruling on Zuma's rape case, Zapiro continues to portray him as a rapist. These are the effects of that infamous off-the-record briefing to selected editors where assistance was sought to deal with Zuma by presenting him in the manner which Zapiro does. Zapiro must grow up and be responsible.

Phaladi Seakgwe, Tshwane

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