Goodman guard assault case postponed

By Drum Digital
06 February 2013

Goodman Gallery security guard Paul Molesiwa's assault trial was postponed to March by the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.

"Not all witnesses for the State are present today," Magistrate Nsizwa Shabangu said.

Molesiwa will be back in court on March 14.

He had expected to go on trial for allegedly assaulting Louis Mabokela on May 22 last year.

Mabokela himself is facing charges of malicious damage to property for allegedly defacing Brett Murray's painting "The Spear", which depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

It was part of an exhibition "Hail to the Thief II" and created an uproar over whether it should be displayed under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression, or whether it was offensive to the president and African culture.

The African National Congress took the gallery to court to force it to remove the painting, and it was shortly after an initial court process related to this had adjourned, that word spread that the painting had been defaced.

An eTV film crew happened to be at the gallery and screened footage of Mabokela and Barend La Grange separately painting over the work, and Molesiwa flipping Mabokela onto the floor.

Later on the same day, George Moyo, who once registered the trademarks for the ANC's merchandise, was arrested for spray-painting half the word "respect" on the gallery's wall. The malicious damage to property charges Moyo faced were later withdrawn.

The ANC also withdrew its case against the gallery.

Shabangu said the postponement on Wednesday was also necessary because the doctor who examined Mabokela needed to come to court.

He issued a warrant of arrest for the absent witness Paul Werner.

La Grange, who has already paid a R1000 fine for defacing the painting, stood next to Mabokela as Shabangu gave the go-ahead for the warrant against Werner and postponed the case.

Mabokela's case for allegedly defacing the painting continues on February 14.

-Sapa

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