South African Students Congress

SASCO statement on the racist cartoon by Eye Witness News

29 May 2014

South African students are appalled, outraged, and deeply hurt by the racist cartoon released by Prime Media Group entity Eye Witness News (EWN). We find the cartoon highly offensive and extremely distasteful. We are saddened by the fact that in the twentieth year of celebrating our freedom, our people are still victims of blatant racism.

The cartoon published on Wednesday 28 May depicts members of the cabinet appointed by President Zuma as incapable bafoons who will not be capable to handle the affairs of running a country. It seeks to affirm the stereotype that black governments cannot govern. The depiction of our first black African Finance Minister as a clown who will not be able to handle the countries financial affairs is consistent with the overall sentiment of some sections of our media, liberal economists and columnist in the past few days. This is outright racism which is a direct insult to those who died during the fight against colonialism and Apartheid.

What is worse is the description of ANC voters 'clowns who voted them in' this refers to the more than 11 million South Africans that voted for the African National Congress. It's is a well-known fact that the majority of ANC voters are black and the cartoonist makes no omission he paints the voters black on the cartoon. This is the racism that has characterized our media before and post the elections. They have gone at great lengths to drive a narrative that anyone who has voted for the ANC has done so without proper application of their minds. The cartoonist only reinforces this mockery of our people. The true intentions of this narrative is to characterize black people as idiots.

We note the halfhearted apology released by EWN. Their flimsy apology is a further indication of the reluctance of South African media to accept the reality that they serve a class and racial interest. This does not surprise us since South African media refuses to be reformed or held responsible for its misgivings and racialised reporting. Instead of serving the public interest, the South Africa media, owned by white monopoly capital continues to be a mouthpiece for those who have a deep seated hatred for the ANC.

We do not accept the excuse that all of this is in the name of media freedom and satire. This is blatant racism and nothing but the transformation of our media can be recourse for our people.

As the South African Student Congress, we are embarking on a campaign to boycott EWN and all media houses under the Prime Media Group.

For more information contact,

Ntuthuko Makhombothi (SASCO President) on 071 875 2209
Luzuko Buku (SASCO Secretary General) on 0718793258