Cartoonist apologises for ‘homophobic’ Shrien Dewani tweet

Shrien and Anni Dewani

Shrien and Anni Dewani

A South African cartoonist has been berated for tweeting a “homophobic” comment about the Shrien Dewani murder trial.

Jeremy Nell, better known as Jerm, posted a tweet in response to the sensational dismissal of Dewani’s murder case by the Western Cape High Court yesterday.

“What’s more gay: Shrien Dewani or the South Africa justice system?” he tweeted.

Nell (@mynameisjerm) was quickly called out for using the word “gay” as a way of indicating that something is stupid or useless.

Well known activist Zackie Achmat (@ZackieAchmat) asked in response if this was not “the stupidest comment?”

PD2607 (@Pd2607) also tweeted that, “Using gay to denote something negative or unsatisfactory is beyond stupid.”

Nell soon after deleted the tweet, writing: “Previous tweet retracted. Apologies.”

He later posted the following cartoon, commenting on the media frenzy over Dewani’s sexuality.


Not everyone was offended, however, Mark Del (@delano501) tweeted: “@mynameisjerm I just want to say that, despite being a gay man, I found your tweet quite funny. I’m a long-time fan and will remain so.”

Two studies, in 2012 and 2013, found that the increasingly common use of the term “that’s so gay” to describe something as stupid or undesirable negatively affects gay, lesbian and bisexual schoolchildren and university students.

According to News24, Nell’s cartoons have been published on eNCA and Eyewitness News and by the Sunday Times, Rapport and Rolling Stone.

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