In May, tensions were inflamed in South Africa after the ruling African National Congress objected to a satirical art exhibition that included a painting showing President Jacob Zuma as Lenin with his genitals exposed. The ANC forced a newspaper to remove the image from its website, and the painting was defaced in the gallery.
Tension is rising again. On Friday, the government demanded that the Mail & Guardian remove from its website a cartoon published Friday that features an erect penis with a showerhead and legs with an accompanying limerick about Zuma.
The limerick read: “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 d–k as we thought,” Agence France-Presse reported Friday.
Zuma has been married six times, currently has four wives and 21 children, and acknowledged in 2010 that he fathered a child that year with a woman who was not among his wives, the Associated Press has reported.
“A court found him not guilty of raping an HIV-positive woman in 2006,” AFP added. “He said he took a shower shortly after unprotected sex with the woman.”
M&G Editor-in-Chief Nic Dawes said, “We have no plans to remove the cartoon” from the site, according to the South African Press Association.
The ANC, which Zuma heads, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) and the National Union of Metalworkers of SA (NUMSA) issued statements condemning the cartoon by Jonathan Shapiro, also known as Zapiro.
The ANCWL said: “The Zapiro cartoons rely on their shock value to make an impact, but calling the president of this great nation a ‘d–k’ is unacceptable and the WL would like to know who the ‘we’ he is referring to in the cartoon actually is, as the majority of the population who voted for the president clearly did not think this of Zuma.”