Zap! Zuma.
Zap! Zuma.

First, they pulled it in April, just before South Africa’s elections because… someone complained it wasn’t balanced. Now, they’ve pulled it again, because “due process with regards to consultation has not been concluded,” according to an incomprehensible spokesperson at the South African Broadcasting Corporation.

“It” is a documentary on political satire that was produced by the SABC current affairs program, Special Assignment. The real beef, it seems, is with Zapiro.

“Zapiro” is the nom-de-lume of editorial cartoonist, Jonathan Shapiro. Yes, he’s the one who attached a shower head on Jacob Zuma’s bald pate. He installed that bathroom ornament in honour of El Presidente’s bizarre precautions after having sex with a woman who was HIV-positive. The former head of SA’s AIDS awareness effort didn’t slip a rubber on his ducky – he took a shower instead. Oy!

Enough about Zuma and the shower head though. It’s been retired, for the time being. No, Zapiro is on someone’s sh*tlist. The SABC apparently deems Zapiro not-ready-for-prime-time. Perhaps because Zap’s also he’s being sued by The Zoom ™ for another cartoon.

In the cartoon, Zapiro portrayed Zuma unbuckling his belt, while “Lady Justice” is held down by Zuma allies Julius Malema, Gwede Mantashe, Blade Nzimande and Zwelinzima Vavi.

Mantashe eggs Zuma on: “Go for it, boss!”

While Zuma’s allies claimed the cartoon was intended to project the ANC president as a rapist — even though Zuma was acquitted of rape in 2006 — Shapiro said the central meaning of the cartoon was “incredibly clear”.

“It showed Jacob Zuma, with the help of his political allies, threatening and intimidating the judiciary to try to manipulate the courts for him to be exonerated and escape going on trial [for corruption], thus paving the way for Zuma to become president,” said Zapiro.

He said he used Lady Justice to represent the South African judicial system, adding that the figure is recognised as a symbol of justice the world over.

The documentary also features material from the Z-News satire, which was produced by Zapiro and shows Zuma trying to flee from the National Prosecuting Authority and axed president Thabo Mbeki in drag, singing I Will Survive.

I hope this isn’t a sign that South African’s are prepared to let humourless idiots ruin things for them. They let that happen once before. Remember?

Please, please, please don’t let them dull your tongues because it’s one of the things I love most about your country.

Ummm… Let me rephrase that….

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