News24

I am not a racist, artist Brett Murray says

2012-05-25 22:02

Johannesburg - Controversial artist Brett Murray is a former ANC supporter and is not a racist, he said in an affidavit filed at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

"I do not produce art with an intention to hurt, humiliate or insult, and that includes the painting that has caused this controversy," he said in the document.

"I emphatically deny that any such intention motivated the painting or exhibition... I would like to say that I am a proud South African and a former supporter of the ANC. I am not a racist."

Murray's painting The Spear, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with exposed genitals, generated a national debate when it was shown at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg last week.

The artwork formed part of Murray's exhibition "Hail to the Thief II".

Zuma said he was hurt, shocked and offended as the painting was a violation of his right to dignity and privacy.

"I respect, as I should, the right to freedom of expression and artistic creativity as constitutionally enshrined rights, but submit that the portrait has overstepped the mark and acceptable levels... of the Constitution," Zuma said in his affidavit.

He said the continued display of the painting had the effect of impugning his dignity "in the eyes of all who see it".

"...[I]n particular, the portrait depicts me in a manner that suggests that I am a philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect.

"It is an undignified depiction of my personality and seeks to create doubt about my personality in the eyes of my fellow citizens, family and children," said Zuma.

"It is clear in the eyes of those viewing the portrait that it seeks to depict me in a bad, undignified and degrading manner... in terms of the theme of the exhibition, my portrait is meant to convey a message that I am an abuser of power, corrupt and suffer political ineptness."

Zuma, his children and the ANC filed an urgent application in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday to have the painting removed from the gallery and from the website of the City Press newspaper.

"This being a case of violation of my dignity, reputation and integrity, there can be no monetary value attached that I may vindicate to obtain damages for their violations...," Zuma said in his affidavit.

"I therefore submit that there is no other sufficient remedy that will vindicate my rights other than what is prayed for [the removal of the painting]."

The application was indefinitely postponed.

Metaphor for power

Murray, who is from Cape Town, said The Spear had a dual purpose: it was a work of protest or resistance art, and a satirical piece.

"For me, The Spear has a far broader meaning.... It is a metaphor for power, greed and patriarchy," he said.

"From my perspective as an artist, I felt a sense of betrayal, where heroes of the struggle now appeared to be corrupt, power-hungry and greedy, or where ideals that many had died or made sacrifices for were abandoned on the altar of expedience."

Murray said over the past few years there had been an ongoing narrative on Zuma - a court had found he was linked to his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who was convicted of corruption.

"Another controversial feature of the first applicant's [Zuma] public life was the failure by the prosecuting authorities to proceed with corruption charges against him, notwithstanding the apparent existence of evidence to sustain such charges."

Details of Zuma's sex life had also been "well documented" in the public domain.

"Notwithstanding the fact that he has four wives, he has engaged in extra-marital sex on at least two occasions."

"For me, satire is critical entertainment. While I might be attacking and ridiculing specific targets, what I am actually doing is articulating my vision of an ideal world in which I want to live."

That preferred ideal in the South African context was the Freedom Charter, said Murray adding that the debate surrounding his painting was in itself evidence.

He contended that art can provoke debates "however unsettling they might be."

"There is, therefore, no reason for artists to be censored, however uncomfortable this might be for individuals and for society at large," said Murray.

Comments
  • Rabble-Rouser - 2012-05-25 22:10

    It is the ANC that is make a race issue out of this. Whenever the do not get their own way the always throw up the race card.

      Nicky Kotze - 2012-05-25 22:25

      If the ANC was playing in a Poker tournament the only cards that they have is the racism cards........If the shoe fits wear it JZ!

      henryian73 - 2012-05-25 23:10

      Malema was correct by saying we have a dick'tator for a president and race have nothing to do with respect but that its something earned. Fact is Zuma and the current ANC leaders has failed us all!

      jimmy.james.509511 - 2012-05-26 00:19

      Shower head got upset..lol

      Jack - 2012-05-26 06:05

      They have no choice but to try the race card. The poster depicts him accurately.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-26 06:18

      Henryian73, ""Fact is Zuma and the current ANC leaders has failed us all"" It is just not true what you say. What JZ is definitely guilty of, is that he has got such incredible lousy PR people around him, who should spread the message of what possitive results his government achieves !! His personal profile is not great, but unfortunately that is also the case with many world leaders. Italian Silvio Berlusconi paid children , 17 year old model kids, for a f.ck !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! US President Bill Clinton, got a blowjob from Monica Lewinsky, while she was sitting on his desk in the Oval Office!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But lets instead look at the possitive achievements of his government; Corruption Under Thabo Mbeki, the dept of Interior, was unbelievable corrupt, and totaly inefficient. JZ turned this dept around, to one with little corruption,and a high level of efficiency. Health Still much to be done, but a lot better than under Thabo Mbeki. While Mbeki was President, tens of thousands of south African aids sufferers died unnecessarily. With great aids programs in place, now tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives are being saved. Science Just awarded a large part off the SKA project !!! Economy Maybe not in great shape, but a lot better than that of many 'developed' countries. Jacob Zuma, should get rid of his politicians who play PR experts , and do a lousy job, He should have professional PR !!

      Hugh - 2012-05-26 08:08

      Well one thing is for sure he is branded a racist now no matter what he says. When will people understand that they should never deny being racist just say, Ask Do you know me? Or who are you that I must defend my beliefs to you? Blacks do know how to answer that question and even more flustered when you do not react to being called racist. Sorry but personally I am sick and tired of the most over used word, being called racist for having ensured removal from a home of a dogs used for illegal breeding is a bylaw enfringment but becuse I am one white in a neighbourhood of plenty and stood up for my right I am now branded. I say so what. I am not being intimidated by one word.

      ivan.frantz.3 - 2012-05-26 09:49

      Thanks Bret Murray. You have just proven a point that the truth hurts. Even JZ has, unintentionally admitted it !!!

      henryian73 - 2012-05-26 10:40

      @AnthonyfromAfrica.... what are you saying? That Zuma is doing a great job? Are you serious? Are you for real? You just have no idea of whats really happening and also how much better things could have been if it wasn't for mister corrupt at the helm. All and most can agree that since 2007 and under Zuma things in our country is in slow regress and that things are slowly getting worse and worse and that Zuma is nothing more than a dictator that have fooled a few with you included. Good luck to you but his days are numbered. You just have no idea whats happening behind closed doors at parly!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-26 12:19

      Henryian73m, Yes, I am serious, with the untold problems we have, many been there for many years, Jacob Zuma is doing an amazing job. It is you, who is blinded with Zuma's personal issues, who can't see what is happenning. Anyhow, if Zuma goes, I will come and thank you, for putting Tokyo Sexwale in his office, and than Julius Malema in the office next to that of Tokyo.......! How dumb, stupid and ignorant, can one get ??????????????????

      henryian73 - 2012-05-26 12:49

      @Anthony! Once again you show your ignorance of whats really happening in the country on grass roots as well as government level. fyi Malema was also only used by JZ your hero till not so long ago for his own gain but as we all know things didn't work out the way they both hoped for. Some big surprises coming your way in the next couple of months. JZ is way past his SB date!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-26 13:03

      Henryian73, If you can sling mud at our President, and you call him corrupt, than be man enough to justify for you saying so. Since Zuma is President, I am sure he has made many decisions you are not happy with, but please explain, what is it that was CORRUPT !! Or for that matter, corrupt, by any of his ministers ?????????? It is, not only me, but YOU too, who is going to cry, when Zuma is gone !!!!

      henryian73 - 2012-05-26 13:25

      Anthony! Your hero JZ set Malema up to become the very little corrupt and controversial leader he has become to divert all attention away from him while he carried on dishing out jobs and contracts to friends and family and while filling his own pockets to capacity. Clearly you either blind or either also payed by JZ with means of job, money or contract. No doubt things is going to get rocky but all this necessary to get rid of stench and lawless corruption that came about cause things corrupt at the very top for far to long now.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:35

      AnthonyofAfrica, in the dumb, ignorant and stupid departemet, you are right. We cannot win from you.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-26 14:04

      Henryian, To sling mud, a 7 year old child can do...................! ""and while filling his own pockets to capacity"" All I am saying is, don't be a pathethic a.shole, you want to say outrageous things like this, THAN substantiate these!!! Your problem is not just JZ, it is the ANC, Tough luck my friend, in the last elections they got 65 % plus of the vote. Or do you want to come and say, that our elections were not free and fair ????? And, although not my wish, but in our next elections, the ANC, will again get above 60 % of the vote. Than one must be smart and make the best out of this situation. All I am saying , is that the alternative to JZ, is to ghastly to contemplate !! WAKE UP !!!!!!!!!!!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-26 15:34

      Henryian, How sad, you can accuse our President of corruption, even saying, "he fills his pockets to capacity" and when asked to substantiate, you can't give even one fact. THAT IS PATHTHIC!!! But, don't worry, on this site you only have to say 'anything' anti Zuma, and you can get 75 thumbs up. Well done, keep it up. Sorry, but in the meantime, i think you are a weak lying a.shole !!!

      henryian73 - 2012-05-26 18:49

      Anthony dude I really don't mind being called an as..hole, weakling and or above all a liar. I was however never charged or involved with racketeering, money laundering, corruption or fraud. Zuma on the other hand had over 700 cases against him. Need I say anything more. Have a good eve.

  • Maya - 2012-05-25 22:15

    Why do they ALWAYS shout "racism" at about everything – ALL-THE-TIME! It is because - if you do not see their view or vision from their background - you are a racist! They THINK and BELIEVE that "racism" and "matter of opinion" is the same thing. This is why the ANC shouts “RACISM” and us the PUBLIC does not really understand why, EVERYTHING is always labeled as Racism! So people if the ANC and supporters says “You are a racist” – Do know that they actually mean “You don’t understand us”- The ANC and supporters do miss the mark completely! So actually the ANC and supporters are Racists because they dont see the artist point of view!

      carpejugulim - 2012-05-26 05:17

      The true meaning of racism has been perverted over time to suit exactly what the accuser wants it to mean ... hauling out the race card normally means that the accuser has exhausted every other means to make you see from their point of view. rac·ism/'ra?siz?m/ Noun: The belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as... Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief. Thank you wikipedia racism Pronunciation: /'re?s?z(?)m/ noun [mass noun] the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races: theories of racism prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior: Thank you Oxford English Dictionary

      Fussed - 2012-05-26 07:08

      That right The NEVER seem to see the bigger picture

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:39

      Diego got a special gift from heaven. He knows what we think and belief and he knows we are all guys. Since when did I have a sex change?. Must have happened on my last visit to Mars.

      ludger.machele - 2012-05-26 17:05

      @carpejugulim, words do change their meaning over time(like stupid used to mean brave)and yes if the accuser feels aggrieved he may use the vocabulary that best suits his intentions. Is it what the "artist" calls it now, "satire"?

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-25 22:24

    The ANC supporters must stop struggling. They must just give up!

      jmohlaba - 2012-05-25 23:42

      dont forget ANC its a ruling party PaPa! the is no way it can give up.

      Anthony - 2012-05-26 06:40

      so it,s your choice to surport that racist government? epic fail

      Gerald - 2012-05-26 08:07

      At Anthony It is without a doubt that the ANC enjoys the support of the majority and will probably do for some time to come.I don't know the figures but I believe a significant portion of this will continue to cast their vote for the ANC not because they like the ANC but because they want to 'keep the DA and this a white man out of power'. It is where Zuma represents the lesser evil so to speak. People here tend to bemoan the fact that black people still blame apartheid and racism for our current social ills, and not on the failing by government. Justified or not black people will continue to feel the way they do and vote with their hearts. Doesn't help of course that general white mentality, in its simplicity and illusions of mental and philosophical grandeur, will label these black voters as sheep or stupid, further alienating the core black vote. Further than our (black) expressed mistrust of (read racist attitutes against) white people due the past it presents a huge challenge to intergrate our indigenous core principles with the western secular view. The current speargate proves the point. Where most of you are united in the celebration of 'the spear a lot blacks,both those in support and against Zuma, felt violated by it. How is this then not racial, if it divides us by our upbrining. Unfortunate DA supported it (lost my vote right there). I didn't see intelligent sattire or political innuendo, I saw a black displayed for the benefit of white vouyers, Sarah baartman

      Gerald - 2012-05-26 08:22

      At Anthony Sarah Baartman again in the freak shows in the 19th century. Now do you see where my thinking goes, instead of seeing Brett Murray's deserved criticism of Zuma, I now see something else, now his message get swallowed by this. I think at the end of the day white people are not sensitive enough to the psychological harm that apartheid imposed on the black mind. Helen Zille's refugee comment, though well meant, again proves this. And of course you white folks had to come up in support of this comment, citing the million dictionary definitions of the word refugee forgetting the the important one right here at home in black people's hearts. Maybe us Black are the racists and you are not ( I mean even the black guard assaulting the black guy and not the white guy proves our racist attitudes to the core doesn't it) but you crying we are always calling on apartheid and the race card does not and will never help your cause, regardless how right you may be. And why is it that black people always get caught in violence against one another yet you don't? Again the security guard example...the da cosatu stand off where a signifant number of black people exchanged bricks in a not so kosher way, the many blacks who die to preserve rhinoes, both poachers and guards. I would rather all rhinoes extinct if it will save even ten of us. We read about dinosaurs mos. I have never voted ANC as 2/3 majority scares me but be advised if they should lose numbers I will go out and vote 4 them

      Gerald - 2012-05-26 08:25

      Sorry for the long winded response, that are my views why the ANC will win even though they lose and why the DA will always lose even though they might win at times. These are the views of a 'sheep'....mbeeeehso

      Gerald - 2012-05-26 09:20

      @ Steve White people have not forgone their culture, no one suffers from cultural impotence, I live amongst Afrikaners for example, and we see how they are mindful of their culture/past. Have you never been to the Ini Bos in Nelspruit. As for the pursuit of advancement the end of days shall judge whether your ways, which we have adopted are right, I mean we live in a world where the population booms out of keeping with our natural resources, the carbon imprint implodes, there is major deforeststion, is your advancement really sustainable. Trump card, explain to me how it suits me now to throw the race and apartheid trump card now bearing in mind that I am not a supporter of Mr Zuma? How does it suit me nowAt

      Gerald - 2012-05-26 10:28

      @ Steve, You explained it better yes, thank you. I understand you. My argument, or shall I say trail of thought,was specific to the question posed by Anthony as to why people keep voting for a 'failing' party and not the illustrious other. As for ashumanity we shall overcome our shortcomings I respectfully disagree. Maybe at the precipice of our and the Earth's extinction we may. Either way the Western way of doing things will have to change forever.ce

  • Stlouis Heidtmann - 2012-05-25 22:27

    anc curtain to hide there incompetence is to shout racist at every judgement even in daily life you see there support on the streets its they have been taught to use this term for whenever they have been proven wrong and then they sound twice as dumb when they try and explain why its racism just stop and admit you did wrong

  • YuccaN - 2012-05-25 22:28

    They use race to deviate to another real problem in society. It's called discourse and race was the issue for many years, but because South Africa is still a land of have and have nots, (because the ANC have done little in 28yrs) the have nots buy it.

  • YuccaN - 2012-05-25 22:28

    sorry meant 18 years

  • Marvel Mushavhela - 2012-05-25 22:29

    ANC or non-ANC supporter, politically or constitutional, black or white, rich or poor, young or old..there's absolutely no way you can justify this kind of behaviour. We are talking about someone who has chilren, a mentor..our president for that mater. This so called former ANC supporter has no room for respect to other people. His seeking attention in a very awful manner. You can go to any highest court in the planet to defend this...at the end if the day.., he's show how disrespectful he can be..period!!

      Stlouis Heidtmann - 2012-05-25 22:40

      ahh did big evil man with the paint brush truth hurt your feelings shame just steal some tax money you will feel better corrupt a hole stop crying and resign thief

      rowen.loretz - 2012-05-25 22:53

      ag, stop being a PLONKER!

      arne.verhoef - 2012-05-25 23:16

      Shame ou, I feel bad for how close-minded you are. If you are offended, it does not mean other people are, or that they have to subscribe to your taste.

      Phillie - 2012-05-25 23:38

      "It is an undignified depiction of my personality and seeks to create doubt about my personality in the eyes of my fellow citizens, family and children," said Zuma. "It is clear in the eyes of those viewing the portrait that it seeks to depict me in a bad, undignified and degrading manner... in terms of the theme of the exhibition, my portrait is meant to convey a message that I am an abuser of power, corrupt and suffer political ineptness." Spot on Mr President.You have summed it up perfectly!

      Richard - 2012-05-25 23:58

      So why did the ANC not kick up a big fuss about this painting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ngcono_ihlwempu_kunesibhanxo_sesityebi_%28painting%29.jpg ? Could it be because the artist is black?

      Andrew - 2012-05-26 00:58

      You are quite correct Marvel, it certainly has offended you. But as I have said elsewhere on this comments page, the freedom to be offended is a sacred one and we should never give that up for the freedom to be censored.

      Vince - 2012-05-26 07:20

      @Marvel. Why is the fact that he has children only mentioned now but when he has unprotected sex with an HIV positive relative then the children are very far from your mind and the minds of others like you. Please man imagine how his children must have felt when he said in court that he TOOK A SHOWER to prevent HIV infection.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:45

      Of course our usual collection of trolls have never heard of Dumile Feni. He was a black artist from Worcester and he died in exile in New York in 1991. He was famous for his nudes and called the Picasso of Worcester. Needless to say Dumile was a very black man.

  • Crracker - 2012-05-25 22:33

    The advocate for the ANC conceded in front of the cameras of e-tv for all to see that the reason for the court case was NOT racial. We all saw it.

      Crracker - 2012-05-25 22:36

      But let's add, the ANC of course continued with its false propaganda outside of court that race was the underlying issue for the painting. Despite that its advocate had stated the contrary in court. This is all part of a propaganda game the ANC is undertaking to get Jacob Zuma re-elected and to stifle and hide its deplorable delivery record.

      Crracker - 2012-05-25 22:38

      Just to add, despite the fact thet its advocate saw how silly race was and HAD TO concede for the sake of a credible legal case that race was not a factor. The hypocrisy of it all!

      John - 2012-05-26 03:34

      Hi Crracker, as you know I live overseas, is there a link anywhere where I can watch the broadcast? Brilliant comments by the way, i always look for them on News24, keep it up.

  • tasmee.hylkema - 2012-05-25 22:45

    According to Zuma, the portrait portrays him "to depict me in a bad, undignified and degrading manner... in terms of the theme of the exhibition, my portrait is meant to convey a message that I am an abuser of power, corrupt and suffer political ineptness", as well as in a "bad, undignified and degrading manner... in terms of the theme of the exhibition, my portrait is meant to convey a message that I am an abuser of power, corrupt and suffer political ineptness."So then I have to concede that the artist has successfully conveyed the message he wanted, not only as he sees it, but as Zuma himself sees it! Well done Brett! You speak on behalf of many!

      Atholl - 2012-05-26 00:29

      Nicely spotted tasmee --- tasmee said :: ''' So then I have to concede that the artist has successfully conveyed the message he wanted, not only as he sees it, but as Zuma himself ''' ----- and to use tasmee's words in a similar manner --- > A single painting has cemented the perception created by many years of media reports, commentaries, news, interviews, transcripts, speeches, -- and the recipient does not like it (because it is truth ?) ----- so ---- Does the court not have the wrong defendant ? ? should the defendant not be the transcribers, news readers, speech writers, newspaper vendors, interviewers, photographers, columnists, researchers, typists, messengers ?? are these 'truthful villains' not part of the painting?

  • Jan-Hendrik - 2012-05-25 22:47

    Just bad taste, nothing more, nothing less.

      henryian73 - 2012-05-25 23:36

      No Jan-Hendrik I think Brett hit the nail on the head with this painting and lets all just agree that Zuma is nothing more than just a corrupt dick'tator thats just in it for his own gain like Malema so clearly pointed it out to us recently. Time to wake up and smell the coffee. The current ANC leadership has fail us all!

      Andrew - 2012-05-26 00:56

      Sure. And isn't it wonderful to have the freedom to express your opinion. While the portrait wouldn't find it's way into my own home, the purpose of art is to challenge our thinking, stimulate debate, and increase our understanding of a point of view that we could not have previously considered by ourselves.

      Christopher - 2012-05-26 12:50

      Zuma is an idiot nothing more nothing less!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-26 18:06

      Andrew, ""And isn't it wonderful to have the freedom to express your opinion"" And isn't it ironic that Jacob Zuma, is one of the ANC members, who made THAT possible!!!

      Riaan - 2012-05-26 21:09

      @Anthonyfromatree They as much made it possible as I made the moon landing possible. It was a concerted effort and as far as I remember it was a condition from the previous government for handing over power. It was also the ANC of old. Not the new cleptocracy.

  • Jackie - 2012-05-25 22:50

    I think you should tell someone who does read the print/online media, we all know that when their racist mentality is exposed the like hiding behind the term satirical, so you are a racist if not rather show us on of your arts which degrades one of your own color

      Stlouis Heidtmann - 2012-05-25 22:54

      jackie when you stub your toe do you scream racist if the rock is white?

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 07:18

      I am confused here Jackie, please help me out. If the painting is racist as you and many others including the ANC claims it to be; does that mean that all black people are living the way Zuma does (or wish they could)and that it depicts African culture and the way black people are? I know lots of black people that have different values then Pres. Zuma has...Are they all "Coconuts"? Do you have to be a polygamist with mistresses, have sex with girls living in your house being 40 years younger then yourself and have sex with the daughter of a good friend if you are African? If that is the case, the painting sure is a racist painting and I am not confused anymore. Awaiting your reply.

      Makatikamusona - 2012-05-26 08:27

      @Bobby -exactly my point, no one including the president goes around showing his balls, maybe children. But whites people thinks people walk around naked hence they always say they must go back to the bushes. @Bobby So you think we are animals cause only animals don't care about showing off their private parts

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 10:30

      @Christopher. Thanks for telling me how my thinking is, you sure are a gifted person. Now tell me please what are the winning lotto numbers? I'll tell my wife -she is a person of colour-, to go sit in the back of the garden now, in the bushes. In other words: I do not see the connection betweem my question -and your remarks on it.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:49

      Jackie, clearly this subject is way beyond you. There are black artisits with paintings of Zuma much worse than this one. Either you are a hypocrite or ignorant, I am sure you know which one fits you the best.

  • rowen.loretz - 2012-05-25 22:51

    Yip, there are many of us white people who are not racists yet now get labeled as such by our "racist" government.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-26 05:26

      Ekbliksem, To call our government 'racist' is INSANE... What is even more INSANE , is that you get 10 'thumbs ups' for such a dumb pathethic comment!!!!

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:52

      Diego, shut down, the longer you stay here the more you atart to spew racist insults around. A small, undeducated mind always become disgusting.

  • Tumelo - 2012-05-25 22:59

    ANC supporter my foot! Just like your boss FW who thought he can fool us that he was on our side, only to reveal his true colours 18years later. For you and Goodman gallery, its one painting down, and more to follow next week when we march to close it down for good.

      henryian73 - 2012-05-25 23:15

      just another 'three blind mice' follower following blindly..... Malema was correct to say we have a dick'tator leading our nation....... Fact remains the current ANC leadership has failed us all!

      Ad - 2012-05-25 23:21

      @Tumelo...No use trying to argue or explain anything to you...You will just call me racist!

      Stlouis Heidtmann - 2012-05-25 23:25

      tumelo you are an complete and utter bafoon march for wht is wrong and unfair viva corruption viva anc viva ignorance

      Andrew - 2012-05-26 00:44

      Tumelo You should always consider carefully the freedom you seek to take away from others, for one day that freedom may be taken away from you. If you won't speak out and defend the freedoms of others, who will defend yours? As the German pastor Martin Niemoller said during the Nazi demolition of his society: First they came for the communists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me

      Oscar - 2012-05-26 06:21

      Tumelo, it is really not very difficult to fool someone with an IQ of 70.

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 07:34

      Yes, that is the way to go. No more critics. Imagine how nice life would be. Throw them in prison, all those that appose you, maybe we should re- instate Robben Island prison for them. We will be back where we were in no time if you get your way.

      linda.visagie - 2012-05-26 07:36

      While you're at it, Tumelo, please check out the painting by Ayanda Mabula on Wikipedia that is mentioned in this debate... I assume you're offended by that one too. Or maybe not? I wonder why noboby caused a raucus about that?

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:54

      Tumelo I can't wait for next week then. Have they paid you enough?. For such brave actions don't be satisfied with a small KFC and a cola.

  • maryjane.mphahlele - 2012-05-25 23:06

    now just because a white person did it he is racist?i still don't think there is something wrong with the portraits lol

  • Ivan Overton - 2012-05-25 23:11

    Either you get the point of the painting, or you don't - if you don't, you probably never will, and you will think the equivalent action is to Photoshop a nude picture of Helen Zille and publish that, thinking: "take that, now we're even". But there is no "other side", no racist plot here, except perhaps for those who like to use that tired accusation at every twist and turn. Is it a coincidence that it is very often the same people who once spoke out against apartheid that now speak out most passionately against the ANC? How sad it is when such a hard and long struggle is won, only to see the victors become the very same enemy they once fought so hard against. And how sad too for those who supported the dream of a brave new SA, for whom getting rid of what they didn't want did not bring them what they did want. This is the truth (and I'd hazard the inspiration) of the painting - it is not about being "a philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect" but about the raw abuse of power. The latter is so much worse than the former, yet most people who speak out against the painting seem to (prefer to?) ignore that interpretation. Speaking for myself, while I may not respect some of the things I read in the press about our president's personal life, that becomes irrelevant when compared to the bigger things: the rampant greed, corruption, nepotism, inefficiency and incompetence that is dragging our country down - if he could have turned that around, made a real difference, we could all have forgiven a lot of other indiscretions. But - alas - the only real transformation I'm seeing is from a miracle to a shameful failure. Perhaps the puzzling hullabaloo and spotlighting of an initially unknown painting is intentional - rather focus on the small things, play on emotions and stir things up, create a vivid distraction and greater polarisation, lest the clearer thinkers among our voting population start thinking about the things that really matter - democracy, freedom of speech, education, employment, health, security, and service delivery.

      Diego - 2012-05-26 00:46

      so if you don't get the point from your point of view you are wrong. who died and made you Queen. freedom of speech the ANC has the right to intepret the painting the way them want. go to hell

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:56

      Oscar, Diego is a garden gnome.

  • arne.verhoef - 2012-05-25 23:14

    Bravo Mr. Murray!

  • Ad - 2012-05-25 23:17

    Brett I applaud you for stating that you were a "FORMER" ANC supporter...Clearly that has changed .

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-25 23:23

    I find it very funny that the very things Zuma is claiming as 'his damages' being a womanizer, a philanderer, inept and an abuser of power are the very personality traits that we like so little about this man. How can a country hope to grow with an immoral, corrupt individual in the driver's seat? My gardener's morals and principles are more exemplary than those of the president. He too went up to standard 4.

      John - 2012-05-26 03:49

      Bless, he made all his statements in a sworn affidavit, obviously lying through his teeth and they want us to respect this idiot? I feel sorry for all of you having to be Dick'tated to by this bafoon.

  • Brent - 2012-05-25 23:24

    Zuma: "...[I]n particular, the portrait depicts me in a manner that suggests that I am a philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect." Wow, Maybe Zuma should take a long hard look at himself in a mirror and he might see that his words are truer than he realises - and oh, he can add the word "corruption" behind it. Never in this country have we seen corruption levels as high as it has been under his term. But then let's not forget that he conveniently had charges of corruption against him dropped when he became president. Sigh! Only in Africa. Now I suppose I will be called a racist too.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 13:59

      Bless I am white, I wear the Luthuli nedal for my struggle history and you have suddenly made me feel really joyful and chirpy. I'm white, no racist and blessed with common sense. Oh! wow.

      HugoMabasa - 2012-05-27 13:33

      Jacqui you are as racist as they come.Please do not disgrace the name of our heroes like slovo,kasrils,turok,ozinsky etc.you are a white supremacist.you posts testify to that,so please quit the pretext,it is disgusting.nx

  • Lenisto - 2012-05-25 23:25

    Yes you are not a racist Brett but you are DISRESPECTFUL!

      Andrew - 2012-05-26 00:36

      The freedom to disrespect is a sacred freedom. We should hold on to it dearly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyoOfRog1EM

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 07:38

      That is very true. But there is a lot of disrespect around, it is not against the law. He can choose to be disrespectful towards JZ, as someone else can choose to be disrespectful against the Queen of England, Zille, me, you or whoever. No laws are broken.

      linda.visagie - 2012-05-26 08:30

      You too can check out the painting by Ayanda Mabulu, "Better be poor than rich". And please read Ayanda's comment about respect.

      tobydt - 2012-05-26 12:07

      Jacob doesnt deserve respect. The painting is of Jacob, not of the entire black nation. As such, jacob is president of SA, not the chief. And if he doesnt like being disrespected, then he must resign as president.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 14:02

      Linda, this lot do not check out things. Some don't know how and others just like to scream racism. It starts first thing in the morning when they look in the mirror,see their own reflection and think dang! just another failure.

      Patsy - 2012-05-27 11:44

      Big deal!!! What exactly has JZ done to earn respect, please do tell? Thousands of unemployed people cold and hungry and homeless, despite promises made.... Billions of rands disappearing, to where? Who knows. The hiring of criminals to high positions. Respect - HUH???

      gary.harding.94 - 2012-05-28 17:25

      Lensito, you need to earn one's respect. It is not a right....Brett is just telling it how it is.......he is entitled to his opinion....it's called freedom of expression.

  • Moleseng Malepe - 2012-05-25 23:26

    What was Brett Murray's intention? he is a racist, equally he disrespected the president of SA and Russian Revolutionary Vladmir Lenin, Zuma is not a communist, and Lenin is a communist

      Stlouis Heidtmann - 2012-05-25 23:34

      @malepe his plan was to paint zuma as he is corrupt thief with women problems and a brain the size of pea or at least thats what i think of zuma

      arne.verhoef - 2012-05-25 23:35

      Apparently you also only have standard 2

      Bless Boswell - 2012-05-25 23:40

      That has nothing to do with it - the painting was merely in the same style. So get off your high horse. Your president does not know how to behave. If he wants to be treated with respect, then he has to be respectable. Perhaps respectability is viewed differently in his culture, but immoral Behaviour is not fitting for a president of South Africa. He is a poor role model and an embarrassment to the decent people of this country.

      Phillie - 2012-05-25 23:45

      Respect cannot be taken it has to be earned Which our dear Pres has not done ever!

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 07:43

      Disrespect is all around us. Malema disrespects Zuma too, Republicans disrespect Obama, you probably disrespect Helen Zille. Its your free choice to disrepect and respect anyone you like, its called freedom. As far as racism is concerned, if the painting is racist as you and many others including the ANC claims it to be; does that mean that all black people are living the way Zuma does (or wish they could)and that it depicts African culture and the way black people are? I know lots of black people that have different values then Pres. Zuma has...Are they all "Coconuts"? Do you have to be a polygamist with mistresses, have sex with girls living in your house being 40 years younger then yourself and have sex with the daughter of a good friend if you are African? If that is the case, the painting sure is a racist painting and I am not confused anymore. Awaiting your reply.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-26 14:03

      Moleseng, what you said may make sense to the pumpkins in your garden.

  • Bongeka - 2012-05-25 23:56

    People, why all the time there is a debate about President Zuma or aunty Zille then people change the subject and make it an ANC or DA thing?This is Mr Jacob Zuma that we're talking about here,a natural person like you and I.Not the government that is run by the ANC or ANC itself. I'm not going to call anybody a racist because that word is very famouse these days and it's been used wrong in different contexts.But I'm going to say is before you say ANC this and Zuma that,please just take a minute and look at yourself in a same situation.Just put yourself in the same shoes and tell me that you won't feel anything wrong about that.Nobody can say that because we both know that nobody in his right mind can enjoy this.So good people, please leave your differences and politics aside and deal with the matter on hand fairly. It is a disgrace,disrespectful and an insult.Deny it if you want but deep down in your heart you know I'm right.The artist might have had another vision when he painted that painting but he should've considered that not everybody is an artisit and not eveybody is going to see and interprete it the way he sees it. South Africa has spoken about the humiliation they see in that controvesial painting,so now is the time for him to do damage control.Let's not play dirty politics and race card where it really is not needed.Let's grow up and see things as they are and not according to race,gender,coulor or creed.We may say we're free but we're still living in the past.

      cecilia.okelly - 2012-05-26 06:30

      A wise man once said "If you don't want to be insulted, don't open yourself out to insult."

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 07:50

      I think you have expressed the opinion of lots of people here in a very thoughtful way. Thanks. The painting is disrespectful, no doubt. I just don't see why anyone would get worked up because of that though. Calling DA's Lindiwe Mazibulo a 'tea girl' is disrespectful. You can disrespect anyone you like in this world, that is your choice and prerogative.

      francisco - 2012-05-26 10:04

      Bongeka, it is an ANC thing and a Government thing because the ANC and the office of the President are both parties to the court case. They decided be joint applications and therefore it is an ANC thing and government thing. But I do agree that this is a personal case for Zuma and not one that the government should get involved with.

  • Richard - 2012-05-26 00:05

    I'd love to know why a white artist who paints Zuma with a cartoon like penis is called racist while Ayanda Mabulu, a black artist, who paints a zombie Zuma with a tiny life-like penis gets away with it without even a letter from Zuma's mommy? Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ngcono_ihlwempu_kunesibhanxo_sesityebi_%28painting%29.jpg

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 07:53

      That fascinates me too. I guess there is no fuss about it because is a black artist, racism doesn't work there.

      Ginney - 2012-05-27 12:09

      Ayanda Mabulu's painting was unknown until Bretty Murray's painting - and he depicts many world leaders in unfavourable light. Quite disappointed that its been around a couple of years already and we missed it. Its a good art piece.

  • onke.tshaka - 2012-05-26 00:07

    This whole thing is gonna end badly, mark my words

      Bongeka - 2012-05-26 01:13

      You can say that again onke.tshaka.This is really going to end up badly if nobody stands up and try to stop it before it's too late.

  • dirk.hoffmann1 - 2012-05-26 00:19

    It is so sad that the ANC who fought so hard for freedom in SA is now so reluctant to let its citizens to express that freedom. In any real democracy the opposition must have a voice to bring balance to society and to keep the ruling party honest and focused on the reasons for being in power. I.e. to serve the population (and not only the ones who voted for them). The leaders are there to ensure that the citizens are protected, have access to education and health and that law and order and individual rights are upheld and respected. The truth is, the ANC has failed in all of the above and they have run out of ideas and excuses. It is therefore much easier to blame the past and being a victim than taking responsibility for the task you are elected to deliver.  The ANC and President Zuma in particular have lost touch with reality and obviously he is not up to the task.  But one thing is certain, Mr Zuma will not gain respect through a court order. This week British PM David Cameron called Ed Milliband a “muttering idiot” in the House of Commons. A term which I believe much better apply to the president of South Africa!

      Bongeka - 2012-05-26 01:25

      Wow!you said a mouthfull dirk.hoffmann1,but unfortunately you're using a wrong platform to attack the president.What's his style of running the country has to do with this humuliation we're discussing here?You're missing the point my friend.Hate him if you like and attack him the way you want because that's what democracy is all about.But please use the right platforms and make sure that your attacks which will be then called freedom of speech or expression doesn't amount to insult. Please read my first comment above on this article.Maybe you'll then understand and know what exactly that we should be discusing here.I'm not fighting with you but just trying to curb more damage that I see looming here.

      Diego - 2012-05-26 02:15

      he might be a muttering idiot according to you but he has more money than you, more wifes than, more popular than you. this mut make you the worse type of idiot.

  • Andrew - 2012-05-26 00:27

    Speaking from Australia, so I appreciate that I don't have the context of living in South Africa, it reminds of any classic freedom of speech debate. As Voltaire was thought to have said, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." If you want to watch a really good segment on why the right to freedom of speech is more important than the right not to be offended, see the late (and great) Christopher Hitchens in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyoOfRog1EM It surprised me the last time I visited South Africa that I could find none of his works in South African bookshops. Any one know why?

      Dee - 2012-05-26 01:08

      Andrew - I don't believe the source nor flaming of this situation has anything to do with art, freedom of expression, or defence of a presidents dignity. The REAL OBSCENITY of endemic corruption / theft from the poorest and weakest; the very UN-African-Ubuntu-Culture of OBSCENELY DECADENT lifestyles of our ruling elite; and the decay in values & delivery of what the ANC once stood for are open to VILE & OBSCENE scrutiny (e.g. because for now, the hottly contested 'Secrecy Bill' not yet passed). So the electorate must be rallied for the forthcomming election. How OBSCENELY easy it it to manipulate sentiment with a VERY WELL ORCHESTRATED exploitation of a satirical painting - with empassioned shrieks of "RACIST", "OUR DIGNITY", "OUR CULTURE", "PRESIDENTS PENIS", and even have a senior Advocate break down sobbing in court "over the memory of APARTHEID". Every emotional button deliberately and strategically pushed. What should be under scrutiny in this bill of rights issue is the morality of exploiting the masses as a means of rallying votes with a racial divisive smokescreen over the real failures of govt. That for me is another VERY REAL OBSCENITY.

      Andrew - 2012-05-26 01:56

      Dee My comments are in relation to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. What we are all doing admirably on this comments page is expressing those freedoms. Some more articulately than others. Without the freedom of speech, corruption can never be exposed and alternative point of view can never be expressed and those who seek to control opinion or stifle debate can never be challenged. The freedom of expression isn't an easy. But the alternative is unthinkable.

      Bongeka - 2012-05-26 02:11

      Yes I can hear you Dee but like I said before,let's not play the man but the ball.This article is about the controversial painting but now all of a sudden we're talking about the government.How corrupt,selfish and self centred they are.If you think I'm going to say you're talking nonsense you'll be wrong because I don't see or judge things according to race but I only give credit where it's due,irrespective of coulor,race,gender or creed. Yes the government is not doing a good job as far as service delivery is concerned.But that doesn't give anybody the right to insult anybody.Yes I agree that they're corrupt and they don't keep their promises to deliver to the masses on time.But,does that give Brett Murray to personaly attack the man?He could've talked on social networks,papers and every where he wants to,but not splash someboby's private parts on the internet for the world to see.That is desrespectfull.

      Dee - 2012-05-26 03:20

      Bongeka - Leaders have a team of advisors on how to manage PR. The choice made in handling this picture has been deliberate and strategic in my analytical opinion. The divisive and highly emotive results speak for themselves. (Over a satirical painting?!) Why for example was there no Racist / Dignity / Culture furore over e.g. Ayanda Mabulu's satirical parody of The Last Supper - showing a great deal more than one penis - and the political comment of the painting extremely critical? As a citizen, I deplore the leadership style demonstrated over this matter - and sincerely believe 'voters buttons are being pushed' -deliberately - and in obfuscation of where the REAL moral outrage should be directed. Such as a real obscenity of no school book delivery by mid-year, maladministration / misapporopriation of resources down to even Lotto funds etc etc etc. The 'ball' I choose to play is the dignity and rights of our school children, the weakest and poorest in our society and tax payers who are obscenely robbed and failed by this govt.

      Dee - 2012-05-26 14:27

      Bongela - Sorry – I see, respect and share the decency in your point of view. I too feel the ‘cringe factor’ evoked by the picture –and would have liked it to be quietly shipped off to Germany. However, the picture is merely an abstraction / non-literal depiction, and ’cringe factor’ an acceptable part of satire universally and throughout the ages. WRT to Andrews post, my previously unstated view is that it is extremely patronising to assume S.Africans don’t have any knowledge of e.g. Christopher Hitchens, and my own “ship it off to Germany” an equally patronising assumption that majority of S.Africans ‘cannot handle’ political satirical comment. With different leadership – the vast majority would certainly ‘handle it’imo. But let’s leave the conclusion to the court ……… whose task I don’t envy in the face of a “Mobilise a Mob” leadership we have been subjected to.

  • Diego - 2012-05-26 00:36

    ya I'm sure you are not racist. that is a problem with South Africa there was Apartheid solely based on racism yet the country seem to have no one who supported it and no racists at all. in fact the everyday victims of racism are called racists. strange twist but ya some liars can even lie to themselves. let me break it to you Murray " your are racist and smell like a rotten fish". You are not a good artist either where is your Mona lisa, where is your Picasso instead you paint Zuma. What a pathetic excuse of a artist you are. strip your mama and paint her or something get a life, you’re probably gay and have a long standing crush on Zuma. The fact that he married another wife must have really pissed you off. I hear of people getting killed in house robberies how come you are not one of them

      John - 2012-05-26 01:07

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ngcono_ihlwempu_kunesibhanxo_sesityebi_%28painting%29.jpg

      Whitemist Blackmist - 2012-05-26 07:19

      WE WHITES DID NOT HATE BLACKS IT WAS THE NATIONAL PARTY!! WE LOVE BLACKS no racist in the county..Racists are ignorant and stupid low lifes, and we are not that.

      Oscar - 2012-05-26 07:23

      Reality check, apartheid is not the cause of your poverty and backwardness it is your culture and your lack of god given talents.

      Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-26 07:28

      A perfect example of the brainless people we have to deal with in this country.

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 08:14

      Picasso was very controversial, and was hated by lots over his controversial , sometimes politically motivated paintings. I guess Mr Murray is in good company.

      atholl.hay - 2012-05-26 14:44

      Racist, homophobic and hate-filled person here! People like Diego do this country no service.

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-05-26 02:14

    Yaaaaaaawn. Can someone steal something or say something stupid or organize a march or something please? Much like Zuma and the party he leads(over the cliff's edge)...This is now old and boring.

  • estee.coetsee - 2012-05-26 04:31

    The pure fact that Brett Murray has to defend himself by stating "I am NOT a racist" is despicable. If he needs criticism for his work, let it be done by fellow artists - after all it is in their league. Anyone that sees this painting as political victory or defeat is just a damn fool. The artist is a satire - nothing more, nothing less. Take it or leave it, but don't ruin it and by "forcing" the artist to make this statement and defend himself, is outrageous!

      ludger.machele - 2012-05-26 16:42

      interesting view estee, now would you say then based on your arguement that Afriforum shouldn't have taken Julius Maleme to court over the "controversial" song that contained the words "dubula ibhunu".

  • Pieter - 2012-05-26 05:08

    Listen up peoples... the same thing happened with all the revolutions in history. You start off on the 'right' side of the uncultivated barbaric hoards (in this case the ANC) and when the revolution is at it's hight it turns on itself and swallows and destroys the most loyal and origional of it's members. It happened to Robespeare in the French revolution and it happened to many others in the Russion revolution. Same thing here. So sorry Brett, you signed up with the turds. Now you stink. Sorry dude. A revolution based on lies, terrorism and misinformation will never work. Same as in SA. Same everywhere else.

      Whitemist Blackmist - 2012-05-26 07:09

      Pieter you are so right!! its not about racism but a system that is taking us for granted. Both the Racists and the Nats and ANC have brought barbaric behaviours we do not want to see. Apartheid was barbaric, Brett Murray is uncouth, and stupid, and the ANC although giving us a better economy compared to Europe and US must improve on getting rid of criminals within..

  • bernard.herbert.9 - 2012-05-26 05:49

    You gave up your right to dignity & privacy the moment you stopped giving a toss about the dignity & privacy of farmers and countless other murder victims of racism!

  • Styro - 2012-05-26 06:20

    Again you have a huge volume of cheek to take the podium to prove your stupid innocence, art you say? i challenge you to give us a structured drawing of your grandmother's wrinkled genitals! Let's us have a debate over the morality of such a picture and you will tell us how you feel, you are a bloody racists together with your friends from the grotesque, blue and white flagged political party ran by an imbecile who makes decisions based on her level of hormones! You bloody boers must just go from this country.....as an artist you have displayed a gross level of stupidity and limited information to the word \freedom of expression\

      Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-26 07:12

      No we will not leave this country. it is just sad to watch it being destroyed by brainless barbarians.

      Oscar - 2012-05-26 07:29

      And you Styro, that has been done in with the creation of mankind, want the Boers to leave because you cannot compete against them. You will always be inferior because that is the way you were created.

      Bobby - 2012-05-26 08:06

      Nows you are being disrespectful towards Helen Zille, calling her in imbecile making decisions on her hormones.. So that is OK? You can be disrespectful towards others, and tell them whatever you like; but when they they are disrespectful towards you and your leaders, its all wrong? That's being a hypocrite, Styro. Think about it.

      michael.kleber.376 - 2012-05-26 11:35

      Styro you are pointing a finger at Brett calling him a racist whilst your comment is riddled with racism ?

  • Michael Kleber - 2012-05-26 06:53

    Brett you are racist you criticised through your painting a member (no pun intended) of the ruling party .

      michael.kleber.376 - 2012-05-26 11:34

      I hope those thumbs down are seeing the sarcasm i intended here

  • YrHonour - 2012-05-26 07:13

    Yes you are and a complete D*ckhead too - Regards a White Person

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-26 07:20

    We watched Brett's work of art being destroyed and we will continuously watch the destruction of what was once a civilised country. Just like we watched the distruction of Zimbabwe.

      Whitemist Blackmist - 2012-05-26 07:30

      RACISM is STUPID practised by IDIOTS, MORONS, BARBARIANS, black or white..

      ludger.machele - 2012-05-26 16:57

      why is everything always compared to Zimbabwe ? This is irritating that our country, because it is "run" by blacks, now has to be liken to Zimbabwe. I mean how many presidents have run Zimbabwe ? South Africa has had 4 presidents in just 18yrs, is there ever violence during elections(except for the Boeremag debacle), are ANC veterans running around evicting white farmers from their land ? Is the rand tumbling? Is there food and fuel shortages anywhere ? Are opposition parties threatened and their members beaten ? Are newspapers closed down for insulting the president ? I mean I can go on and on until next week, fact is our country is in a better position that Greece, Spain and even Portugal !!!! This country was never civilized, Brettwhatshisface would have never even tried that under your heroes John Voster, HF Verwoed and even PW Botha, he would have disappeared without a trace. "once civilised" country, for you maybe but not for 90% of this country and today WE ALL share one freedom that has even enabled this "artist" to put the entire nation on a knife edge.

  • George - 2012-05-26 07:33

    I'm not a racist. Can someone show me a self confessed racist. Even one of the judges in the painting hearing comes across is a pure racist. What is amusing about racists is they forever contradict themselves. Today one racist is saying malema was right about zuma being a dick-dictator. Racists will do everything at their disposal to cause diversion.

      Oscar - 2012-05-26 07:43

      Then you are not human. Protection and promotion of you own is inherently part of any human being. It is the way in which we deal with each other and our perceptions about each other that makes us good racists or bad racists.

  • Sean Wasserman - 2012-05-26 07:50

    Has someone finally got through to President Zuma? I would also be hurt if I was the subject of a portrait which showed me in a poor light. But no artist would have a reason to paint such a portrait of me. I have not involved myself in corrupt dealings. I have not compromised myself where I could possibly be accused of rape. President Zuma, a court did not find you guilty, but your conscience is guilty and that is why there is such a furore, by you, about this painting.

  • Mark - 2012-05-26 08:04

    Don't play the ANC's game by claiming that you are 'not racist' there is no way to prove a negative. The burden of proof lies with them. Merely regurgitating a few cliches and calling someone a 'racist' is meaningless, and it is high time that South African society begins to treat spurious accusation of this nature with the contempt they so richly deserve.

  • heath.dobie - 2012-05-26 08:10

    Come South Africa, we should all be working together. Blacks and whites are by nature fellow human beings and most of the time we all see eye to eye and get along (excluding the 5% of all races who are criminals). This 'painter' has made a mockery of our president and therefore our country. All whites should display their dissaproval of this childish 'painting' and show the rest of the country that this is not a symbol of division between whites and blacks in South Africa. The more credit and support whites give to this 'painting', the more black people are actually given the right to see it as a racist issue. issue.

      agasthian - 2012-05-26 09:01

      Thank you, a breath of fresh air, ahhhhh ... Simple yet the truth !

      Clayton Richard Delport - 2012-05-27 07:07

      Ur a knob... So why is not Ayandas painting racist? Catch a wake up you two faced people... Are you that jealous over a minority? I love how all the attention is moved away from Ayandas work everytime it's brought up, no no no... White man is devil and he is racist.... And another point to make is the trolls who spew racist crap had nothing to say on the Ayandas comment section on news 24... This is not about a painting the is about how you small amount of black people on this forum don't like white people

  • Jason Pearce - 2012-05-26 08:21

    Politics aside - just a pretty ordinary exhibition IMO. Uninspired

  • Nare James Mashamaite - 2012-05-26 08:30

    Well explained Murray! Zuma paraded naked in public and you saw it and painted it, n you have all the rights to paint what you see, Let them talk, the picture has been seen and is all over the show.

  • leon.delange.3 - 2012-05-26 08:46

    cant blame you if you become one

  • Roy - 2012-05-26 08:53

    Brett "a former ANC supporter"?? Hmmm....he must be very disappointed in the ANC now...like so many of us.

  • errol.wagner - 2012-05-26 09:00

    ' [I]n particular, the portrait depicts me in a manner that suggests that I am a philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect. "It is an undignified depiction of my personality and seeks to create doubt about my personality in the eyes of my fellow citizens, family and children," said Zuma. Well that is an admittance from the man himself - and is what has been portrayed, true or not - that is the question.

  • Gavin - 2012-05-26 09:12

    My word, it is shocking to read some of these comments. Emotions run deep. Brett, through his comment focused on Zuma's character and not his skin colour. The word RACISM is an emotional word and will touch a nerve with most, it is obvious that SOUTH AFRICA needs a leader who can focus (amongst other things) on bringing about a CULTURAL change i.r.o RACISM. DIEGO - Mandela had a dream as did King, wishing all the whites to be killed when Mandela took over is going too far! We should embrace Mandela's dream, and carry it forward. Right is right and wrong is wrong! If a politician or government official steals money, or is seen to be incompetent, then it should be addressed immediately! If the man who holds the highest office in the land is charged with what Brett has alledged, then he should be investigated and if found true, charged accordingly. What is aggravating is that a large number of his voters are turning a blind eye to the numerous anamolies within the governing party while fellow citizens suffer. Surely as a human being, the fact that more and more service delivery protests and accusations of corruptions arise, so to should your conern. Yet you defend them? Have you ever considered that the PRESENT ANC LEADERS strategically use the RACISM word as a way of diverting attention from accountability? We need to think outside of the scope here and start demanding a honest and efficient government, FOR ALL OUR SAKES, REGARDLESS OF RACE!

      Whitemist Blackmist - 2012-05-26 10:17

      Thank you Gavin, real input, well said. People need to vote him out and not attack his genitilia!!

  • Enlightened - 2012-05-26 09:41

    This type of art is designed to convey a message. This one does, however, each individual is master of his own interpretation. I fulyy allign myself with MY interpretation: an oversexed, self centered power hungry, egocentric, uneducated, incompetent clown that is absent minded because many things take priority before the job. That is MY interpretation of what I see.

      Whitemist Blackmist - 2012-05-26 10:24

      I agree with your comments on Zuma..i still fail to understand why he is the president...i like his dancing, when campaigning, for a sixty something year old is amazing..he has just turned 70 he might improve on that. Where are the people that want govern? Stop sitting and accusing, get in there and be elected

  • ivan.frantz.3 - 2012-05-26 09:46

    Thanks Bret Murray. You have just proven a point that the truth hurts. Even JZ has, unintentionally admitted it !!!

  • Sean - 2012-05-26 10:04

    Coming to a cinema near you: Leon Schuster's new ballbuster Mr Boner LOL

  • oom.kosie.9 - 2012-05-26 10:48

    Spot the difference, Ayanda Mabulu vs Brett Murray! Is it just the ANC's perception? The work featured political figures Jacob Zuma, Barack Obama, Robert Mugabe, PW Botha, Nelson Mandela, George Bush, Pope Benedict XVI and Bishop Tutu seated around a table, much like in Leonardo Da Vinci's The Last Supper. All of the figures are hindered or compromised: Jacob Zuma's penis is supported by a crutch. According to Mabulu, this is a metaphor for the perception that Zuma's sexual escapades are out of control; the crutch implying he needs help to overcome the issue. Mabulu also explained that Bishop Tutu's tied up penis refers to a process during the Xhosa male initiation ritual where the penis is covered to speed up the removal of the foreskin. Traditionally a sign of strength and power in his culture, the penis here is portrayed as weakened, incapacitated and "colonised" by Western values – in pain just like during initiation. Asked whether he intended to offend, Mabulu said that he was merely painting his perception of the roles that the state and the church play in a poverty stricken environment. He added that if it offended anyone, it was probably necessary for them to look at reasons why they felt this way. Asked whether painting a political and church leader naked was disrespectful, he said these figures are disrespectful of him and his people: they can't expect respect if they don't respect the people they lead.

  • richard.g.schafer - 2012-05-26 11:21

    "..[I]n particular, the portrait depicts me in a manner that suggests that I am a philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect." Duh, our president seems to be losing his memory, is that not what he is? Does he not have a lot of illegitimate children, etc The definition of a philanderer as depicted in www.freedictionary.com: ntr.v. phi·lan·dered, phi·lan·der·ing, phi·lan·ders 1. To carry on a sexual affair, especially an extramarital affair, with a woman one cannot or does not intend to marry. Used of a man. 2. To engage in many love affairs, especially with a frivolous or casual attitude. Used of a man. Take a good look in the mirror, dude, recognize anything???