Charges against gallery defacer dropped

2012-07-19 12:07
The Spear (File, City Press)

The Spear (File, City Press)

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Johannesburg - Charges were on Thursday withdrawn against the man who spray-painted part of the word "respect" on the wall of the Goodman Gallery during the controversy over The Spear painting.

"The charge against you has been withdrawn," Magistrate Nerina Govender told George Moyo.

He nodded, stepped out of the dock, left the court, and Govender continued with the roll.

Moyo was arrested in May after spray-painting the letters "res" on an outside wall of the gallery. It was done at the height of a controversy over a painting by artist Brett Murray depicting President Jacob Zuma with genitals hanging out of his trousers.

He was the fourth person arrested in connection with the drama over the painting.

Speaking on the sidelines of the case, senior public prosecutor Mojalefe Metswamere said the gallery had filed a statement of withdrawal of charges.

He said it was a confidential document. A formal application to the director of public prosecutions could be made for it to be viewed, for details on why charges were withdrawn.

At his last appearance, where it became apparent that charges might be withdrawn, Moyo said outside the court: "If asked to do it again, I would do it."

He had been the first to appear in court after the painting was defaced at the Rosebank, Johannesburg gallery on May 23. Barend la Grange and Louis Mabokela were filmed by eNews painting over the work.

Their case is still underway and their last appearance prompted an angry outburst over delays in the investigation by the presiding magistrate.

Gallery security guard Paul Molesiwa was also charged with assault due to the way he apprehended Mabokela.

The painting itself was eventually removed from the gallery.
Read more on:    goodman gallery  |  brett murray  |  johannesburg  |  zuma painting

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