Zuma portrait product of ‘very sick mind full of hatred’ – Vavi

2012-05-18 10:13

Cosatu and its general secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, have condemned satirical artist Brett Murray’s controversial portrait of President Jacob Zuma.

On his Twitter page, Vavi said: “That painting can only be a work of a very sick mind full of hatred reflective of the damage our apartheid past caused to our society.”

Vavi recently announced that he would leave Twitter but is still active on the microblogging site.

“... We should be big enough and celebrate artistic creativity but painting a head of state or anyone like that is silly, very provocative,” he tweeted today.

“Imagine if your own father was presented in that degrading form. If it’s good why don’t take pictures of their private parts and tweet them?” Vavi added. In a statement released shortly before Vavi tweeted on the issue, Cosatu said it was disgusted by the demeaning portrait showing Zuma, in the pose of (Russian revolutionary Vladimir) Lenin, with his genitals hanging out. “This picture is offensive and disrespectful not only to an individual but to the democratically elected President of South Africa and therefore to the whole country and the people of South Africa,” the trade union federation said. It supports the ANC’s demand to Murray and the Goodman Gallery to remove this “distasteful and vulgar portrait of the president” from display and from their website and destroy all printed promotional material. Cosatu is also backing the ruling party’s legal action to enforce Zuma’s right to dignity as contained in the country’s constitution.

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