Page last updated at 10:15 GMT, Wednesday, 13 May 2009 11:15 UK

Cartoonist 'removes' Zuma shower

Zapiro at home in Cape Town on 27 November 2007
Zapiro was sued last year for a sketch depicting Jacob Zuma "raping" justice

South African cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro has decided to detach the notorious shower he depicts in sketches on President Jacob Zuma's head.

His latest cartoon shows Mr Zuma in his office with the shower hovering above - rather than attached to - his head.

The cartoonist said he wanted to give "the presidency a chance" to get going.

In a 2006 rape trial, Mr Zuma conceded having had unprotected sex with his HIV-positive accuser, but said he showered afterwards to stop infection.

Mr Zuma, who was inaugurated as president on Saturday after general elections last month, was acquitted of the charges.

But since the embarrassing evidence emerged at the trial Mr Shapiro, known by his pen name Zapiro, began including the shower in his drawings of the African National Congress (ANC) leader.

'Temporary suspension'

"I thought, I will take stock of where we are and give the presidency a chance to get going," Zapiro told the South African Press Association after his cartoon was published in Tuesday's edition of The Times newspaper.

Despite my misgivings about Zuma, he is president of the country

It showed Mr Zuma sitting at his presidential desk with a dripping shower hanging above his head, dangling a label saying "temporary suspension".

"Despite my misgivings about Zuma, and despite my belief that it was wrong for the ANC to have him as its presidential candidate, we all have to take stock of the reality that he is president of the country.

"So I said let's see if I can do gradual change - a little transition."

The cartoonist promised the shower would return if the president "doesn't perform or things go wrong".

Mr Zuma has been an unrelenting target of caustic mockery from Zapiro's pen.

The ANC leader launched legal action last year after a Zapiro piece depicted him about to rape the female figure of Justice, while his political allies looked on.

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