ANC ready for art battle

2012-05-24 07:21
Johannesburg - The ANC is ready for its High Court action against the Goodman Gallery and City Press over a painting depicting President Jacob Zuma's with exposed genitals, it said on Wednesday.

"We are more than ready," said spokesperson Jackson Mthembu.

"We have done all that the court wanted us to do. We have filed heads of argument and a lot of people are coming to defend the image of the ANC and Msholozi [Zuma] tomorrow [Thursday]," he said.

Asked how the ANC felt after the arrests of four people on charges associated with the painting called The Spear, he said: "The fact of the matter is that it has outraged not four people, it has outraged millions of people.

"Millions and millions are offended, and those millions are not necessarily black people only. They find it insulting."

Earlier on Tuesday, George Moyo appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court for allegedly spray-painting part of the word "respect" on a wall at the gallery.

Barend la Grange and Louis Mabokela later appeared in the same court for painting a red cross over the genitals on the painting and smearing black paint on it respectively.

They were all charged with malicious damage to property and were released on bail of R1 000 each.

Zuma won't be at court

Also on Wednesday, gallery guard Paul Molesiwa, 36, appeared in the same court for alleged assault and was granted R1 000 bail.

He was filmed head-butting and flipping Mabokela on to the floor as he tried to cable-tie his wrists.

Zuma would be delivering a lecture on one of the ANC's founders Pixley ka Seme in the Eastern Cape at the time of the hearing, Mthembu said.

"We knew he would not be there," he said. "Our lawyers, and the lawyers of Zuma's children and family are ready and we are quite confident that we will make a good showing," he said.

Zuma's children applied to join the case on Tuesday.

Mthembu said the ANC did not condone the incidents that occurred on Tuesday, but felt that the sentiments showed outrage.

The ANC and Zuma applied to have the picture removed on the grounds that it violated Zuma and the party's dignity and rights.

After his court appearance La Grange said: "A High Court must get involved for a painting? It took me 15 seconds to get rid of the painting."

In the meantime, imitations of the painting are popping up on the internet, including one of DA leader Helen Zille, which she laughed off, and it has already inspired at least two advertisements.
Read more on:    goodman gallery  |  anc  |  city press  |  jacob zuma  |  george moyo  |  paul molesiwa  |  louis mabokela  |  barend la grange  |  zuma painting

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