Zapiro cartoon 'repulsive' - Govt.

The SA Government has condemned Zapiro’s latest cartoon of President Zuma.

Jonathan 'Zapiro' Shapiro. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Government on Friday said cartoonist Jonathan 'Zapiro' Shapiro's depiction of President Jacob Zuma in the shape of a penis is both repulsive and disparaging.

The ruling party, government and trade union Numsa have come out in condemnation of the image which shows Zuma looking in a mirror at the Goodman Gallery and includes a limerick likening him to male genitalia.

Two months ago, Zuma and the ANC went to court to have 'The Spear' painting banned because it portrayed him with his genitals exposed.

Government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said, "We see it as irresponsible for the Mail & Guardian to allow the cartoon to be printed in their paper."

The ANC are meanwhile demanding an apology from the newspaper.

The ruling party said it was a "demeaning and insulting cartoon" on Zuma.

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said there were racial overtones to the cartoon.

"It is a very insensitive cartoon. It reflects on the other side the obsession with hatred for President Jacob Zuma as a person."

But Mail and Guardian editor Nic Dawes said Zapiro was trying to make a political point.

"I know Zapiro feels personally concerned the way the freedom of expression is treated."

Dawes said it was possible Zapiro's message may have been lost because of the graphic nature of the image.

Earlier, ANC Women's League spokesperson Troy Martens said her organisation was also upset.

"It is purely insulting. It really doesn't add any value to society which is the main issue we have with it."