I would keep up Spear now - Haffajee

2012-08-01 20:23
<em>The Spear</em> (File, City Press)

The Spear (File, City Press)

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

kalahari.com

Cape Town - City Press editor Ferial Haffajee would not remove Brett Murray's controversial painting The Spear  from her newspaper's website if given the chance now, she said on Wednesday.

"I would not take down that image today, knowing what I do now," she said at the TB Davie memorial lecture at the University of Cape Town.

"That power of love, of standing down, of reconciling to a great good has withered in my eyes and it's been made to whither by a failed and slaving leech, by men and women who are shadows of the people who led us into this democratic era."

Haffajee said the upshot was that she was a changed person.

"I'm less a child of [former president Nelson] Mandela than I used to be and more a freedom of expression fundamentalist."

She said the debacle had allowed her, for the first time, to feel the fear of freedom slipping away and to get a glimpse into what the "histrionics" were raving about when they painted pictures of doom and gloom.

Although she recognised that fundamentalism was not really helpful, she had come to understand that the "lifeblood" of democratic freedom was easily and quickly undermined.

"Independently, I feel my freedom being eviscerated... Achieving freedom took many, many decades and took thousands of lives but it takes very, very little to kill it."

Haffajee announced at the end of May that she would take down an image of the painting. The decision followed more than a week of controversy over the painting, which depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

Murray reworked a Russian propaganda poster of Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin for his exhibition Hail to the Thief II at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg.

When Haffajee initially refused to remove the image, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe called for a boycott of City Press.

Two people were arrested for defacing the painting and a third for spray-painting part of the word "respect" on the gallery's outside wall.

A senior counsel broke down in court during a challenge by the African National Congress, Zuma and Zuma's children, to have the painting and web images of it banned.

Haffajee said: "We almost became the focal point of a presidential campaign for re-election.

"I have no doubt that the fight about this was an easy comeuppance for a media with which the governing party often had [clashed], because it disliked the mirror we hold up to society."

The editor said despite the drama, she was confident that South Africa had nothing to worry about in terms of freedom.

She said she had the greatest confidence in the "awakening" of civil society and its ability to fight for worthy causes and win.

The Social Justice Coalition, the Right2Know campaign, Section27 and Equal Education were prime examples.

- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  ferial haffajee  |  jacob zuma  |  brett murray  |  blade nzimande  |  gwede mantashe  |  zuma  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
28 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 06:03 AM
Road name: MetroRail

Train services between Nyanga/Chris Hani (Khayelitsha) and Nyanga/Kapteinsklip remain SUSPENDED - all stations on these sections are CLOSED

Langa 05:59 AM
Road name: N2 Inbound

SARIOUS CRASH at the N7 off-ramp - RAMP CLOSED

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Jan 21 - Feb 18
Jan 21 - Feb 18

You may be inspired to do things that expand your mind in a big way today. You have a need to explore and a need to please....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.