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Zapiro launches Hasta la Gupta, baby! (Near the Saxonwold Shebeen, nogal…)

By Mila de Villiers

for maverick writers, fight the good fighters,
hypocrisy haters, sabc eighters,
fake news detectors, real public protectors,
for dirt diggers and go figures,
truth to power speakers and gupta leakers

Thus reads the dedication of Hasta la Gupta, baby!, the 22nd annual to emerge from agent provocateur par excellence, Jonathan Shapiro’s well-versed (and inked) pen.

Launched in the vicinity of a certain Mr. Molefe’s favourite shebeen in Saxonwold, Hasta la Gupta, baby! is a compilation of Zapiro’s most popular cartoons, with a healthy amount of pages dedicated to his more recent work critiquing (among others) Zuma’s asininity (hence the shower head), the nefarious Guptas (hence the title), and Pravin Gordhan’s dismissal (hence the cover-inspiration).

Zapiro described the experience of being so close to the Saxonwold Shebeen as “surreal.

“It feels quite strange to be here under very different circumstances knowing that the country has been taken over just around the corner.”

Attendees were treated to a PowerPoint presentation of a select few comics which appear in the book. (You can take a look at his oeuvre by visiting his website.) Zapiro kindly lent BooksLive to privilege to reproduce the following four:

Zapiro’s representation of Thuli Madonsela’s State Capture report, featuring all the usual suspects.


“‘Tis but a flesh wound!” The Monty Python aficionados in the audience enjoyed this depiction of Zuma in a bizarre condition of total denial concerning Thuli Madonsela’s condemning State Capture findings.

Zapiro’s pen traversed continents, as seen in this comic of the sentient naartjie (thanks for the apt description, Daily Maverick) groping Lady Liberty – an accurate portrayal of Donald Trump’s presidential regime, steeped in sexism, misogyny and an utter disregard for equality and justice.

H.F. Verwoerd seemingly rising from the grave in which ‘aparthate’ was meant to be buried. This comic was created in response to two Afrikaner boere louts, Theo Jackson and Willem Oosthuizen, who attacked Victor Mlotshwa, forcing him into a coffin, and threatening to set him alight. The perpetrators have since been sentenced to prison (serving more than 10 years each) and compulsory community service as janitors and gravediggers in a high veld township’s cemetery. Zapiro’s comic stresses the extent to which the hateful, bleak, and toxic remnants of apartheid are still prevalent in our society.

Hasta la Gupta, baby!

Book details


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