Remove insults to the movement: YCL

2012-05-29 13:23
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ANC march to Goodman Gallery

Large crowds of ANC supporters have arrived outside the Goodman Gallery to protest the Zuma painting. See the latest pictures from the ANC march.

Johannesburg - If the Goodman Gallery does not remove all symbols that insult the ANC and its affiliates, it would be closed down, the Young Communists' League told protesters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

"The movement has always promoted freedom of expression, but you cannot denigrate important figures," the league's national secretary Buti Manamela told a crowd who had marched on the gallery in Rosebank.

He told the crowd, which stretched for over three city blocks, that "the movement was opposed to the painting".

The gallery is currently hosting an exhibition by Brett Murray called Hail to the Thief II. Many of the works criticise the ruling party, implying it has "sold out" to corruption.

The focus of Tuesday's march was Murray's now-defaced work The Spear, which depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. It is Murray's interpretation of a Russian propaganda poster depicting Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.

A speaker from the SA Council of Churches said the protest was aimed at the gallery and the artist. In a statement on the SACC website Rev Mautji Pataki said the council found the painting "distasteful in the extreme".

"The picture is not only denigrating to President Zuma alone, but to all those who respect fellow human beings and never express their feelings in a hateful manner to anyone."

He said the artwork was a classic picture of what hate could achieve when it ruled the mind.

"President Zuma, even if Goodman Gallery hold a different view to what he represents, does not deserve to be undressed in public and made to be an object at a time when his task is to lead our nation," he said.

The SACC would be happy to receive a public apology from those who designed the "dehumanising picture", Pataki added.

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