Controversial painting: ANC serves court papers

2012-05-18 23:17

kalahari.com

Cape Town - The African National Congress (ANC) on Friday served the Goodman Gallery and City Press Newspaper with court papers over the controversial painting, The Spear, a depiction of President Jacob Zuma with his penis exposed.

Party spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said the court papers are seeking to interdict both parties from "displaying and exhibiting on their website or any other platform including the online channels the offensive and distasteful so-called portrait" of the president.

"It is our view that the continued display and exhibition of this so-called portrait will continue to be an affront to the dignity and the privacy of President Zuma in all his capacities but also as a South African whose right to human dignity and privacy is protected and guaranteed by the South African Constitution," he said.

The matter between the ANC and the two respondents will be heard by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday at 12:00.

"We resorted to this urgent court application because our plea to both the parties, who are respondents, of removing this offensive so-called portrait fell on deaf earns.  An urgent application to the High Court was then the last resort."

Earlier on Friday, the Goodman Gallery said it would not remove the painting.

"We feel it is censorship to take the image down," gallery spokesperson Lara Koseff said.

The ANC earlier sent the gallery a letter from its lawyers demanding its removal. The ruling party also wants an image of the Murray painting removed from the City Press website.

The newspaper refused, saying it would leave it to a court to decide.

Koseff said their attorneys had informed the ANC the painting would stay. The gallery had stuck by its artists during and after apartheid, and still supported them.

Although the opinions of artists were not the gallery's, it welcomed the discussions that accompanied works such as Murray's.

Visitor numbers had increased significantly since the ANC demanded the painting's removal. A guard with a bulletproof vest had been posted at the door as a precaution.
Read more on:    anc  |  jackson mthembu  |  jacob zuma  |  brett murray  |  zuma painting
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