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Here we go again: Cartoon of SA president causes Twitter storm

Here we go again. Another illustration involving South African president Jacob Zuma has the country in a froth. This time though, it’s not a painting and it’s not hanging in a prominent gallery.

The work in question comes from satirical cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro. In the cartoon, Zuma is depicted as an actual penis looking at himself in a mirror.

The cartoon, which appeared in the Friday edition of South African national weekly newspaper the Mail & Guardian, makes direct reference to Brett Murray’s ‘The Spear‘ painting.

The painting, which became controversial after the ruling party took offence to it and tried to obtain an interdict to have it removed, became even more famous after it was vandalised and even inspired its own set of memes.

Today a number of South Africans took to Twitter to discuss the Zapiro cartoon with some suggesting he had crossed the boundaries of freedom of speech:

Prominent columnist David Bullard didn’t question whether or not the cartoon crossed the bounds of freedom of speech, but did suggest that it was all a publicity stunt:

Others congratulated the ANC on its decision not to take the legal route against Zapiro as it did with Brett Murray and the Goodman Gallery:

Some though just expressed exhaustion at the thought of having to deal with another crisis involving the presidential genitalia:

In an amusing side note, the ANC Women’s League Spokesperson Troy Martens mistakenly outed fund manager David Shapiro as the man behind the cartoon:

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More
  • nicholasjakari

    Again it seems to be a storm in a peecup