Zapiro is normally an insightful satirist, highlighting the ills in South African society with humorous skill. On April 9th, in the Mail & Guardian Newspaper, a cartoon was published which was meant to satirize the ousting of Zwelinzima Vavi from the trade union movement Cosatu by his erstwhile protagonists, S’dumo Dlamini and Bheki Ntshalintshali. He did this by using the crucifixion of Christ as the basis of his satire, obviously inferring that Vavi’s adversaries had ‘nailed him’ to a cross.
The timing of the publication clearly indicates either a particular ignorance or understanding of the Christian faith or worse, a total insensitivity toward and disregard of the centrality of the crucifixion to Christian belief. In the norm I find Zapiro to be incisive and witty, but here I believe a line was crossed – it is hoped that the newspaper in question might acknowledge this – for Christians, like their Abrahamic cousins, can also be offended.