Zapiro Cartoons Qwelane

06/06/2011, Melanie Nathan,

Zapiro is a well known South African cartoonist; known for controversial and unabashed cartoons about President Zuma and other South African politicians. I met Zapiro at a birthday bash in Cape Town back in March of this year. I told him about my Uganda LGBTI activism and he gave me free license to post his cartoons.

“Born as Jonathan Shapiro in Cape Town in 1958. Couldn’t imagine a career in cartooning, so studied architecture at University of Cape Town. Couldn’t imagine a career in architecture, so tried switching to Graphic Design and promptly got conscripted.” Says Jonathan.

While in the army he refused to bear arms and became active in 1983 in the newly-formed United Democratic Front. His arrest under the Illegal Gatherings Act caused some consternation in the SADF and his being monitored by military intelligence while also participating in the End Conscription Campaign, and designing its logo.

I was delighted to receive this Cartoon which  depicts the deplorable fact that South Africa has a pronounced homophobe appointed as its envoy to Uganda – the most anti-gay country in Africa, with a pending “kill the gays” legislation to further its crusade against its LGBTI citizens.  This past week Jon Qwelane was found guilty and fined by the South African Equality Court for his hate speech that appeared in his column  in a SA Newspaper.


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