Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Political cartoons

The 1980s laboured along, with thousands detained under successive states of emergency as the apartheid regime attempted to hold back the popular tide of resistance led by UDF affiliates. At some point there must have been a move to even further clamp down on what little media freedom remained under the emergency regulations, because I came up with a series of cartoons, none of which were used. One, however, I later adapted for a poster used to publicise a media freedom forum in Grahamstown.

Blind leading the blinded.

While a political nightmare, President PW Botha was a cartoonist's dream.

Darkness sets in as the lights of freedom are snuffed out.

Remember the old dipping pen? Like all pens, it could very easily be destroyed - just as media freedom can be curtailed at the whim of bad politicians unable to secure a "good press".

The ostrich is apparently known for burying its head in the sand.

I borrowed the idea of an ostrich burying its head in the sand in a nuclear testing range from a Michael Flanders song from the 1950s. Here the nuclear blast afflicting SA in July, 1988, I portrayed as various burning issues at the time.

Unable to scan the poster as one thing, this is the top.

And these are the details at the bottom. Note that TML Eastern Cape, the publishers of the Evening Post and EP Herald and now called Avusa, printed the posters.

This was done after PW Botha apparently selectively quoted from exiled ANC president Oliver Tambo in order, no doubt, to cast him in as poor a light as possible.

Labour Party leader Allan Hendrickse, of Uitenhage, came in for a lot of flak from the UDF for his party's collaboration with the Nats in the tricameral parliament. He would eventually fall out with PW Botha by swimming at the whites-only King's Beach in Port Elizabeth.

This clearly followed reports about how well cricketers were being paid - possibly those involved in "rebel" tours of SA, since we were no longer allowed to play fully fledged Tests due to the sports boycott. So the scoreboard is a tad wrong. Kim Hughes it was who led a rebel Aussie tour to SA, which saw similar tours by rebel England and West Indies sides. In fact, the Windies tour, I think, had a positive effect in so far as whites finally accepted black people as equals, albeit that they were not locals.

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