Has the line between caricaturing and relying on racist tropes been blurred in cartoonist Zapiro’s recent work?

Ah, greasy, beak-nosed men with unsavoury, five-o-clock shadows darkening swarthy jawlines, proffering gifts and currying favours. Good to see that the illustrious history that connects the stereotyping of Jewish people and Indians (particularly Indians in Africa) is continuing, at the hands of cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, better known as Zapiro. Shapiro’s work is beyond well-known in South Africa and abroad; he’s beloved for drawing Mandela as a figure of humility and humour large enough to love the caricatures Shapiro drew of him. Shapiro is also famous for lambasting political leaders who capitalised on Mandela’s (and the ANC’s former) glory to garner private fortunes, via under-cover deals. Enter Ajay, Atol and Rajesh Gupta, who journeyed to South Africa from Saharanpur, India during the 1990s to explore possible business opportunities in the country. And they found plenty of business with members of the ANC.  Continue reading