Zuma drops his lawsuit over 'rape' cartoon
South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, has dropped a lawsuit against the country’s most celebrated political cartoonist.
At issue was a cartoon by Jonathan “Zapiro” Shapiro which showed Mr Zuma unbuttoning his trousers while his cronies hold down Lady Liberty and urge him to “go on boss”.
The South African leader has been the regular butt of Zapiro’s popular satire and is usually depicted with a shower over his head – a reference to a previous rape case during which Mr Zuma said he had taken a shower to protect himself from HIV. He was acquitted of that charge.
The climbdown by the President comes as he is engulfed in a media storm over public money used in the £17m improvement of his rural homestead and a possible challenge to his leadership of the ruling party.
Mr Zuma had initially sued the cartoonist and the South African Sunday Times newspaper, which printed the Lady Liberty cartoon, for more than £500,000, claiming his dignity had been insulted. But he reduced that amount on the advice of his lawyers and dropped the dignity claim, resting on defamation.
“President Zuma did the right thing in withdrawing the case. This bodes very well for media freedom,” said a lawyer for the paper.
Since taking over the ANC in 2007 and the presidency of South Africa 18 months ago, Mr Zuma has overseen efforts to curb media freedoms in the country.
The recent Protection of Information Bill and other proposals – which have expanded what is classified as a state secret – have been criticised by journalists who say they are intended to shield those in power from public accusations of corruption.
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice
Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'
techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say
Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
Ukraine crisis: Donetsk 'tactical missile' explosion at factory sends blast wave across rebel-held city
Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
Oscar de la Renta dead: Legendary US fashion designer dies after long cancer battle aged 82
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake online report claiming artist's identity has been revealed
Super-sized ships arrive in Britain: How big can they get?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments
£60000 - £70000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£25000 - £35000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Preston: The Job ? This is a new post...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Southampton: We are looking for Primary School ...