Broadcasting Complaints Commission clears 'Jesus of the ANC'

09 November 2012 - 12:31 By Sapa
ANC Jesus
ANC Jesus
Image: mducomics/ YouTube

A complaint against DSTV's Comedy Central cartoon "Jesus of the ANC" has been dismissed by a Broadcasting Complaints Commission of SA (BCCSA) tribunal, the commission said on Friday.

"The comedy channel of DSTV carried a cartoon in which Jesus is identified with allegations against the ANC. Hate speech [is] not present since religion was not attacked," the BCCSA said.

Viewer Marissa van der Heever had complained that the cartoon shown on September 5 portrayed Jesus as a thief sent to earth to steal man's belongings.

"This made me very uncomfortable, seeing as it [is] not only disrespectful towards God, but also towards fellow Christians in South Africa.

"I do hope that you can take appropriate actions towards this channel by disabling them to show this 'short story' again," she wrote.

The BCCSA found that the cartoon was one of a series of new comic clips produced by the South African production company, Mdu Comics.

The "Jesus of the ANC" clip featured Jesus as a cartoon character who descended from heaven to earth and visited another character, Zuluboy, at his home.

Jesus explained that God had asked him to ask Zuluboy for donations, which he then took in the form of money, furniture, food and other household items.

The BCCSA said the cartoon could be a critique of the political situation in South Africa, or comment on behaviour of some church leaders.

It could not find that the cartoon violated clause 10 of the broadcasting code or that it was hate speech.

The code prohibits a broadcaster from knowingly broadcasting content that is propaganda for war, incites imminent violence or advocates hatred based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion.