During our trip to South Africa a couple of years back, we were mentored, shown around and generally made to feel extremely welcome by leading South African cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, who goes by the pen-name of Zapiro.
Whilst we were there the (now ex-) Vice President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma was hitting the headlines over numerous allegations of sleaze (see my cartoons on this here). After our return he was also charged (and remarkably, acquitted) of the rape of a 31-year old HIV+ family friend. Anyway, it now turns out that Zuma is sueing Zapiro (along with a number of newspapers, editors, reporters, radio stations and publishers). Zapiro is being sued by Zuma for three cartoons he thinks that “injured [Zuma] in his dignity and his reputation”.
“What reputation? He has done everything that needs to be done to damage his own reputation,” said Shapiro.
“What I feel — and I really do see this as a publicity stunt — [is that] he’s obviously trying to find ways to ameliorate the damage he himself has caused. He’s obviously caused a lot of damage to himself in and out of court … This is spin. I don’t think it’s going to go far.”
Anyway, here’s hoping Jonathon comes through this OK… doesn’t look like Zuma’s got a leg to stand on.