Animated Outrage Over Shangaan Jesus

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Just when the furore over 'The Spear' had all but died down, another controversy has emerged to test the line between freedom of expression and respect.

The SA Human Rights Commission confirmed on Friday that it had received two complaints regarding an episode of the animated Izikhokho Show titled 'Jesus is a Shangaan' which was posted last month with an apology in advance to all Shangaan people.

The cartoon appears to be calculated to offend - or at least challenge - conservative Christians, opening with Jesus' doctor revealing to him that he doesn't share God's DNA, and that he's in fact Shangaan. Depressed, Jesus tries to wash away his Shangaaness and, when this doesn't work, prepares to commit suicide.

Mdu Ntuli, the show's creator has defended his work, saying "I have made fun of a lot of South African people, but hardcore Christians seem to be the one(s) who get offended the most. Maybe I need to say these cartoons are fictional stories not a reality. Izikhokho Show has one principle: 'laugh and be laughed at'."

[You can view the animation below. Christian readers are warned in advance that they may find the video offensive due to the content summarised above. Africartoons has posted this in the interests of the broader, unresolved debate on freedom of expression, and whether or not it should have any limitations. It is not our intention to offend Shangaan people or Christians (or Muslims or promiscuous presidents for that matter) in our posting of controversial material, but rather to encourage the debate - preferably by level headed people on either side of it - in the hope that some consensus will eventually be found. If you have any thoughts on this matter, you are invited to make a comment below.]

Posted on Jun 09, 2012 by Africartoons Bookmark and Share