Penis-shaped Zuma cartoon condemned in South Africa

Friday July 6 2012

A painting entitled

A painting entitled "The Spear" by South African artists Brett Murray is displayed at The Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg on May 18, 2012. Photo/AFP 


A South African newspaper cartoon depicting President Jacob Zuma as a penis on Friday drew condemnation from the ruling ANC just weeks after furore over a painting which exposed his genitals.

Top cartoonist Zapiro' latest in the independent Mail & Guardian shows Zuma in the shape of an erect penis with a shower head hanging above him and looking at himself in a mirror at an art gallery.

"We find it unacceptable and shocking after the harsh experiences that South Africa, the President and his family have experienced a few weeks ago that Zapiro and the Mail and Guardian will find it appropriate to continue with the insults and hurt the President...," the African National Congress said in a statement.

Zapiro's cartoon makes clear reference to a painting by satirical artist Brett Murray which ruffled feathers in April.

The ANC last month dropped its legal bid to ban the painting depicting Zuma in a Vladimir Lenin pose with his genitals exposed, after a gallery agreed to permanently take down the work.

But Zapiro's cartoon revived the debate with a limerick: "Though sex is his publicised sport Zuma took the dick-painting to court suing Brett's free expression, confirmed the impression he's as big a dick as we thought."

Zuma's sex life often hits the headlines. In April the polygamist married his fourth wife. The 70-year-old has 21 children, several out of wedlock.

A court found him not guilty of raping an HIV-positive woman in 2006. He said he took a shower shortly after unprotected sex with the woman.

The cartoon also mentioned a forum that took place this week to create a national social cohesion dialogue the country's divided race groups, 18 years after the end of apartheid.

The ANC said it had hoped that the forum, which drew some 3,000 delegates to seek ways to mend divisions among the so-called rainbow nation, "would have assisted the like of Zapiro and his ilk to appreciate that as South Africans we need to respect each other immaterial of the positions we hold in society".