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.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Bali Nine executions in Indonesia: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£14560 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Even though their premises have...
£44000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Marketing company based in cent...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An IT Installation / Commission...
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...