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Zapping South Africa's Zuma

July 15, 2007|Joel Pett | JOEL PETT is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.

South African Jonathan Shapiro received the 2007 Courage in Cartooning Award this month from the Cartoonists Rights Network (full disclosure: I'm on the board). Shapiro, who goes by the nom de plume Zapiro, is being sued by former South African Deputy President (and wannabe future president) Jacob Zuma. Zuma lost his post in 1995 amid an arms-deal scandal and was later tried on rape charges. Zapiro's cartoons about the trial prompted the lawsuit. Zapiro responded the only way he knew how ... with mean lawyers and even meaner cartoons! Zuma was acquitted. During the trial, Zuma testified that he knowingly had sex with an HIV-positive woman but had protected himself by, no kidding, taking a shower. Zapiro's cartoons have been blistering ... like the one above showing a porcine, baby-oil-armed, shower-drenched Zuma emerging victorious from court. I can see how you might not consider that flattering, but a $2.1-million lawsuit? Some people are so touchy! -- Joel Pett

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