Silence descends outside High Court

2012-05-24 12:01
Johannesburg - Silence settled on the streets outside the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg as South Africans, old and young, stopped to watch a court case over the controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma on big screens.

Inside the court lawyers for the ANC argued that The Spear by Brett Murray, depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, was disrespectful and violated his dignity. They asked that it be removed from an exhibition at the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank.

The audience stretched for over a block, watched over by police in crowd-control vehicles.

Earlier ANC supporters arrived on Harley Davidson motorbikes, stirring up a gathering crowd toyi-toying in support of Zuma.

Members of the ANC's military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe paraded in front of the spectators.

"We are here to support our father, the father of our nation," said Fannie Nkosi, a member of the public.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe, and Zuma's son Duduzane, were spotted arriving at court.

The court will decide on whether, in this case, freedom of expression supersedes an individual's right to dignity.

On Tuesday the work was vandalised by two men who smeared paint across it. A third man was later caught trying to spray paint the word "respect" on the wall outside the gallery. All three were arrested and the gallery temporarily closed.
Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  brett murray  |  zuma painting

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