We want to restore calm - Haffajee

2012-05-28 08:55
Johannesburg - City Press editor Ferial Haffajee said the debate about Brett Murray's controversial image, The Spear, had become a clash, and the publication did not want to be a part of that. It wanted to be part of restoring calm.

She confirmed to Sapa that the image, which shows President Jacob Zuma's penis, would be removed from the City Press website.

"I just need a bit of time to do it," said Haffajee.

She would soon post a column about her decision on the website.

Haffajee also told Talk Radio 702 she was concerned about the personal safety of the newspaper's vendors, and journalists, after the ANC called for a boycott of City Press last week.

Haffajee said newspapers had been set alight over the weekend and a journalist evicted from a National Union of Mineworkers conference.

She told The Times that some of her journalists had received death threats.

She had had the full support of her bosses and had discussed with them whether she should resign. At no time had there been any pressure on her to remove the image due to commercial interests.

Last week Zuma, the ANC and Zuma's children took City Press and the Goodman Gallery, which had exhibited the painting as part of Murray's exhibition Hail the Thief II, to court to have the picture and image banned. Their approach was based on the right to dignity.

City Press and the gallery opposed the challenge on the grounds of freedom of expression.

Read more on:    goodman gallery  |  anc  |  city press  |  jacob zuma  |  ferial haffajee  |  brett murray  |  zuma painting  |  media

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