It’s been about a week since Zapiro’s cartoon in The Times newspaper, depicting National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams as a dancing organ grinder’s monkey, sparked something of an outcry.
Since its publication, there has been a heated debate in some quarters about freedom of expression and race sensitivities in the country, with this newspaper taking its own stance.
In the endless cycle of news and outrage in South Africa it’s easy to move on without adequately airing these critical issues.
In the heat of the moment, Zapiro challenged one of his critics, intellectual and author Eusebius McKaiser, to a debate.
In his initial defence of the column Zapiro, aka Jonathan Shapiro, wrote: “[McKaiser] says the cartoon carries no moral, aesthetic, political or legal insight. We all know that McKaiser was a star debater at Oxford.
I’ll debate him on this one. Name the time and place.”
McKaiser responded in his own column: “I accept the challenge, and hope he agrees to wear a monkey suit for the occasion. Just for laughs.”
But as the week wore on Shapiro acknowledged the cartoon was a mistake, and in a cartoon for the M&G committed to listening to his critics.
In the spirit of dialogue, the M&G is going to create the space to do just that.
Please join us as we host McKaiser and Shapiro in conversation at a wholly appropriate venue, Constitution Hill, Tuesday June 7.
M&G editor-in-chief Verashni Pillay will introduce the dialogue and moderate questions from the audience.
We’ll listen to their points, and then take questions from the audience. Attendance is free but space is limited so be sure to book your place soon.
Date: Tuesday June 07 2016
Venue: Constitution Hill
Old fort building
11 Kotze Street
Time: 18h30 for 19h00
Book your seat now by contacting Mahlodi Makate at [email protected] or call 011 250 7398
If you cannot join us the event will also be live streamed and podcasted on our site.