Acquit alleged Spear defacer - lawyer

2013-05-15 20:08
(Picture: City Press)

(Picture: City Press)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - A man accused of defacing Brett Murray's artwork "The Spear" with black paint must be acquitted, his lawyer Johan Spangenberg said on Wednesday.

"A reasonable man can't convict the accused," he told the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court.

"There must be a complainant, an owner, to testify before you [the magistrate], and say 'my property is damaged and the accused had no right to do so'," said Spangenberg.

His client, Louis Mabokela, is on trial for defacing the painting, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, at the Goodman Gallery in May last year.

Using his hands, he smeared black paint over the artwork right after Barend La Grange painted a red cross over Zuma's exposed genitals and face.

The Limpopo taxi driver faces a charge of malicious damage to property. He refused to pay a R1 000 fine - which Le Grange paid.

Spangenberg said even the gallery employees could not claim damages against his client, as they had no substantial interest in the painting.

According to the charge sheet, the Goodman Gallery was said to be the owner of the painting.

"The Goodman Gallery is a building and there is no indication if it's owned by a person," he said.

Spangenberg argued that Murray had not laid charges against Mabukela or tried to have the painting removed from the gallery.

When the painting was sold, the new owner had not complained about the black paint smeared on it.

"The owner bought it and wasn't fazed. It [the painting] now hangs somewhere... probably in his house," he said.

"It seems he didn't even ask for a discount."

He said the painting had in fact increased in value after it was defaced.

The matter was postponed to Friday to allow an interpreter to relay Spangenberg's application.

Read more on:    brett murray  |  louis mabokela  |  zuma painting

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.