SACP condmns ‘racist’ cartoon

Johannesburg - The SA Communist Party on Friday added its voice to the outrage that followed the publication of a cartoon by Eyewitness News (EWN), saying it was racist.

“The SACP condemns in strongest terms the racism that persists in the media in all its manifestations, hidden, disguised, and open,” spokesman Alex Mashilo said in a statement.

File photo: Motshwari Mofokeng. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

The party would look into the matter and decide what should be done.

The cartoon, by Dr Jack & Curtis, titled “Congress of Clowns. And the clowns who voted them in”, was posted on EWN's website and subsequently removed. It depicts newly appointed ministers as clowns with big red noses.

On the side is another group of clowns, representing voters, who stand and watch, accompanied by a description reading “we the poephols”.

EWN said in a statement on its website that an apology had been issued and the cartoon removed.

“We at EWN apologise for any unintended offence caused. We at EWN will continue to strive for free speech and editorial independence,” it said.

The African National Congress was on Friday protesting outside Prime Media's Johannesburg offices, which owns EWN.

Spokesman Keith Khoza said they had decided to March to Prime Media because the cartoon had raised various concerns.

“It was racist, an insult to voters, and showed disrespect to the public office.”

He said publishing the cartoon undermined freedom of choice and democracy. The media was expected to promote good values and highlight the need to protect people's rights.

“We felt compelled to take up this issue of racism because of where we come from as the country. If we don't take it up, this level of racism will keep on appearing... .”

The party met Prime Media's management and the editorial team.

“They have apologised and committed to deal with the matter internally. We are happy and hope the people they insulted appreciate whatever action they take.”