Open letter to Ferial Haffajee

2012-05-29 10:26

By Eusebius McKaiser

Dear Ferial,

You are obviously one of the country's most respected editors and perhaps even, as Peter Bruce, editor of Business Day, rather perceptively observed in his column today, possibly the country's first truly celebrity editor. Your heart is in the right place, and it is little wonder that, filled with compassion for the hurt many have felt at the sight of The Spear (the art work, not the real thing of course!), and fear that some might burn more of your newspapers, hunt you down or kill your vendors even, you decided it is best to take down the image from your website. And you have now done so.

I must admit, however, that I think you made a GIGANTIC mistake. You did the wrong thing. Political bullying, and disrespect for the Bill of Rights, won this morning. Media freedom, I'm afraid, is the loser, and our democracy is worse off for the decision you have taken. Of course, your article explains the relentless pressure you have felt. It reads like a Sylvia Plath poem and seems like a pretty good self-preserving reason for bowing to pressure. No one likes an existential crisis. And Koos Bekker, your big boss, doesn't like a dent in profit. But you're meant to be our principled celebrity editor, Ferial. Dammit!

Let me make my points bluntly for why I think you wrongly dropped The Spear's balls. This should make for ease of (dis)agreement, I hope.

First, it is not true, as Peter Bruce claims, that taking down the image is in the "national interest". It is (narrowly) in the interest of Jacob Zuma, his family, his supporters, some in the African National Congress who feel insulted, and members of the public who feel the same. But deciding on national interest is not an exercise in simply determining how the majority feels and endorsing those feeling willy-nilly. By that logic, it is "in the national interest" to chuck out the rights of gay people, to bring back the death penalty, and to allow teachers to smack kids in our schools.

That's not responding to the "context" in which your paper exists, Ferial. That is affirming, uncritically, what a vocally dominant bunch says. We should now be mature enough to have critical dialogue.

This means asking yourself whether the "national interest" is really about satisfying the whim of an angry segment of your readership, or even an angry majority in society-at-large. Worse than this, Ferial, consider whether the national interest should be politically decided, depending on what Gwede Mantashe (the ANC's secretary-general) had for breakfast, or how cool headed their spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu, happens to be when he reaches a press briefing?

Second, I think your decision to take down the image undermines your own front page story in yesterday's City Press. You ran an accurate, and very important, cover story that tells us that not all blacks think the same and that not all ANC or alliance politicians think the same. This is why you chose the headline, "Spear divides ANC". And you're right.

For example on The Justice Factor Paul Mashatile (our minister of arts and culture) had a very different take on this issue to Mantashe's and to that of minister of higher education, Blade Nzimande - who has called the painting an assault on the black body. (Let's leave aside the fact that Jacob Zuma's body is his. It is not every black man's.)

Mashatile's tone was more measured. He showed no anger, and he said that there was no ANC "debate" on whether to boycott your paper. His own preference, he said, was for "dialogue" even though he, too, regards the painting as offensive. Similarly, that brilliant old timer, and ANC intellectual heavyweight, Pallo Jordan, also defended the artist's right to artistic freedom on last night's episode of Interface on SABC3, even while explaining that sensitivity is important on the part of artists. And, in an interview in your own paper one of our best writers, Zakes Mda, was scathingly brilliant about Zuma's inability to live with being offended. Mda also denuded silly suggestions that, uhm, nudity is something only white artists dream up. (Mda's article was particularly lekka for showing up the basic ignorance in many critics' viewpoints, borne out of little or no familiarity with art.)

Here's my point. By climbing down on this issue - and following the sentiments of editors like Peter Bruce - you actually do all of us, including black South Africans, a huge disservice. You make it seem - yes, yes, it wasn't your intention Ferial! - as if you woke up this morning and thought, "My good God, they are sooo angry, I had better not hold them to the high constitutional standards I preached last week, if I want to still be alive next week!" I know these are not your literal words. But, alas, Brett Murray is not the only one who produces works open to interpretation, filled with ‘sub-texts'.

As editors, journalists, writers and columnists, our speech acts - our words -are also subject to interpretation. And so I am sorry to add to your headaches by saying that just as Mantashe, Zuma, Nzimande and Jackson - The Big Men Of Politics - were offended by your decision to keep the image on your website, it is my turn to play the "I'm offended!'-card. I am offended - cough - that you have such low expectations of angry readers, and angry politicians. I am offended that you did not take seriously your paper's own recognition that not all blacks think the same, and many of us have your back covered, including many ANC politicians even. Hence my examples of black men who have either clearly supported you (like Mda) or politicians who showed that they can explain being offended by the art work but live with being offended (Mashatile and Jordan).

The right to dignity, as you know, does not include the right to not be offended. This is why Zuma's case is legally impotent. They should have mounted (as it were) a defamation case or a hate speech one under the Equality Act. But of course their legal advisers are not the sharpest tools in the legal shed. (Those legal strategies would not have worked either, but had marginally better prospects.)

Constitutionally, we have to set a precedent which makes it clear that being ridiculed by an artist is legally allowed. Mashatile gets this. Jordan gets this. And no doubt many other politicians not yet interviewed on this issue, get it too. Your decision robs us of an opportunity to entrench, legally, the meaning and implications of artistic freedom. The aesthetic merits of the work are beside the point.

Bad art, like bad politicians, are allowed to exist. That's the point of democracy. One can only hope there isn't a retreat by Murray or the Goodman gallery.

Oh, and by the way, many people think Murray's art feeds into a white supremacist history of reducing black men to their rampant sexuality. I actually think your self-censorship feeds into a white supremacist history of lowering expectations of what black people can handle. The modern version of "Don't teach them maths because they won't get it" seems to be "Don't demand of them what you would demand  of a cosmopolitan, progressive, educated white person - tolerance of artistic freedom - because ‘they' won't get it!"

And yes I KNOW you "did not intent" to say this. I know! But we have seen from the artistic rebukes of Murray from critics like Gillian Schutte that it is ok to ignore intention and simply dump an art work into the annals of racist art's history because, you know, an exposed penis is sufficient to justify the racism card making a not-so-rare appearance in public debate. 

So pardon me, therefore, if I am being equally ungenerous in placing your reasoning in the "context" of white supremacist editorials and columns from years ago that you might not have had in mind this morning when you took your decision. I am just being "historical" in ignoring your intention, and saying you're playing into an ‘anthropology of low expectations'.

Don't condescend black South Africans - hold us to a high standard, and don't take us seriously when we bully you. We're trying our luck, and in this case you caved in. Next week, Gwede will be back, and then what? You must be "brave'', Ferial, as many say you are, and let go of the  prospects of being liked by everyone. Rather be respected for consistency and principled editorial decisions; its way cooler. Seriously dude.

As we say on twitter, a platform you love too, #JustSaying.  

Yours in "robust debate"

Eusebius McKaiser

PS: Speaking of twitter, feel free to follow my counter-revolutionary tweets @eusebius and in the interest of "dialogue" you can freely share this letter in City Press. (Don't ask Koos Bekker's permission.)

This letter was originally published on

Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

  • Franklyn - 2012-05-29 10:33

    A great article,unfortunetly-fear of ones life or the lives of our aquaintances can outweigh our moral aspirations....sad but true.

      omonaija - 2012-05-29 10:47

      Easy for you to say Eusebius McKaiser since you are not in her shoes.So as per your logic it is better for the country to go to civil war instead of preventing it.In case you are still day dreaming and do not realize it,this is South Africa.It is a country with a violent past dealing with a violent present. Common sense must always prevail before your precious "freedom of speech" which can lead to deaths of many.You need to step out of your airconditioned office and speak to real people on the street to know how delicate this matter is. This painting alone can escalate racially motivated killings in case you do not know.What the editor has done is the right thing in this circumstance.This is not Europe ,this is South Africa and the continued exposure of this painting can easily lead to the deaths of many.This painting in my opinion is similar to Malema singing "shoot the boare" song. It is time for everyone to move on and look towards the future.This painting has done nothing more than to polarize the country and gain more voters for the wrong crew.

      Bambanani - 2012-05-29 11:53

      @omonaija,well said,you understand the feel of the real masses,

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-05-29 11:59

      @omonaija - You have a point but how long do you chip away at your principles as a country , what is concerning is the threat of violence as a means to get what you want (ie: Rackateering)which has become ubiquitous in SA and is a very dangerous precedent ,far more so than any painting could ever be. I don't want to be in a place were the guy with the most guns ,people and willingness towards violence that gets their way . Thats the blue print to domestic armed conflicts around the world. "My dear, You speak about ideas I don’t believe in, you’re passionate about things I don’t find all that interesting, and sometimes I find everything you say to be a test of my nerves. … But I’ll never force you to simmer down, or go behind your back and ask the government to ban you from uttering things I don’t agree with. I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. I disagree with a lot of what you say, but your right to say it should never be up for debate. No being should live with shackles on their feet or on their tongue. Falsely yours, François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire)"

      meshvic - 2012-05-29 12:01

      @omonaija in other words, you think we black people will choose violence instead of tolerance as Eusebius argues wrt lowering our standards - SAD. The civil war, killings, etc that you refer to can only go to those proportions if incited by our leaders - and I'm quite sure that the direction they chose to take determines the current atmosphere.

  • nikondaniel - 2012-05-29 10:46

    Well said!

  • Jacques - 2012-05-29 10:58

    An easy letter to write if your own publication does not have the guts to post the image. Instead of attacking her you should have supported her by carrying the image on your own website and posting it relentlessly on your own twitter feed. The coward here is not Ferial, but all who let her stand alone.

      Tankiso Mogoje - 2012-05-29 22:46

      He is a coward who wants others to fight his own battle,why didn't his publication publish that photo?

  • zaatheist - 2012-05-29 11:07

    Great article and I totally agree with you. I was also dismayed to see the abysmal surrender to intolerance and censorship. Commercial interest, as usual, triumphs over principle. Sad!

      Phillip - 2012-05-29 17:02

      It is not for nothing, therefore, that the lord your God says "the beginning of wisdom, is the fear of the LORD"...

      Franklyn - 2012-05-29 17:17

      geez,can you God aficionados not use medieval english ?

  • zymsimango - 2012-05-29 11:07

    this whole article is full of rubbish/crab, the writer must come and do my garden if he has more sparetime

      Theo - 2012-05-29 11:24

      @Zymsimango.Do you have crabs in your garden or do even have a garden?

      Keith - 2012-05-29 11:30

      Idiots like you are useless to the human race and society and should go back to school if you ever been there poepsak

      Erna - 2012-05-29 11:34

      Zymsimango - don't show your ignorance.

      TheyTookMyNickLaZynEko - 2012-05-29 11:38

      don't cry when people talk to you that way.

      gert.dupreez - 2012-05-29 12:03

      One word: IDIOT!

      ianingwe - 2012-05-31 08:46

      You make it easy to understand how the leaders are able to mobilize the numbers they do!

  • gideon.rossouw - 2012-05-29 11:25

    What has the ANC done to open the international world of art and culture for its supporters? Bussing people to close down exhibitions and benefitting politically from vandalism and threats of violence just shows how the ANC under Zuma is a shallow, populist party which has lost its vision of leading an open, democratic and (remember this one?)non-racial society.

  • siya.jr - 2012-05-29 11:27

    Great article indeed.....JZ does not deserve to lead this country. He must step down urgently. When is comes to this man and his allies ...THEY RAPE everything infront of them. Its a matter of time before they f**ks us aswell.

      zymsimango - 2012-05-29 11:34

      siya u sound like a pink guy trapped in black skin, then who deserves to rule this country

      siya.jr - 2012-05-29 12:00

      @zymsimango you still living in the dark boet. I won't let anyone to mislead especial in this undemocratic country.

  • Althea - 2012-05-29 11:30

    Great! I like

  • Jackie - 2012-05-29 11:36

    "...By that logic, it is "in the national interest" to chuck out the rights of gay people, to bring back the death penalty..." This is a wrong assumption, it is only few people who support those two points, and we can vote on this of you have any doubt. Humans have no right or power to decide about when another could cease to live.

      koo.doyle - 2012-05-30 07:23

      Its a perfectly correct assumption, is it "in the national interest" to chuck out the rights of gay people, to bring back the death penalty..." this is relevant because those two points are supported by few. Just like keeping the painting up, is supported by few.

  • Herchelle - 2012-05-29 11:40

    You miss the point why Zuma and the ANC is angry.They are not angry because of the art work.They are angry because Zuma,his kids and the ANC ASKED the Gallery and Newspaper to remove the art work because he felt it is degrading and it was boarding on his humanity.That is why they are angry and I believe after much reflecting on the hurt and the shame this art work has caused the President Ferial decideed to remove it.Rightly so.

      Erna - 2012-05-29 11:55

      So why are they crying racism, and all that cr@p?

      skootzie - 2012-05-29 13:52

      // They are angry because Zuma,his kids and the ANC ASKED the Gallery and Newspaper to remove the art work because he felt it is degrading and it was boarding on his humanity. // And the Gallery told them to go get stuffed, as is their legal right to do so. Just because El Presidente doesn't like something, doesn't mean it has to be removed. Perhaps Zuma should take a long hard look at himself; if he behaved differently instead of the man depicted in the painting then the artist wouldn't have had to paint the image in the first place. Don't you think?

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-05-29 14:15

      Oh please!!!! If you believe that you missed the point of the article!

      hannesenbrianda - 2012-05-31 10:37

      the artwork was critism of Zuma that he did not like. He used as the power of the government to stop that critism as he did not like it. Nothing to do with dignity, it is comments on his actions in the past and present on many fronts. Why are people so afraid to stand up to Zuma?

  • Abrham - 2012-05-29 11:49

    ferial haffajee, were you bullied by the anc or koos bekker? were your decision influenced by fear and since you have zipped it, do you think the likes of biko would have approved. the freedom we experience in this country was bought with blood. ferial, have your actions cheapened the price paid?

      Jackie - 2012-05-29 12:04

      We don't like it and majority of people don't like it. And you don't know anything about dictatorship because ANC has always respected the court ruling on any matter, but just like you/DA/Afriforum they too have a right to challenge whatever they want in court, and it is for the court to make a ruling on that

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-05-29 14:18

      Jackie, your rasoning lacks sustenance and instead is extremely biased! Are you not capable of intelligent debate?

  • jiri.tichy.184 - 2012-05-29 11:53

    censure ship is wrong and we must never allow it to become law.. but equally so is self censureship we justify by crying fear or nor wanting to hurt someone.. if the shoe fit please wear it. City Press you are our protectors to write write and give news and opinions. You have failed by removing the painting. Now where does it stop.. Maybe exterminating all that oppose the free thoughts and expressions... sad for our constitution..

      zymsimango - 2012-05-29 13:43

      sure u dont have a clue, the differencve between freedom of speech and freedom of insult

      WessBergg - 2012-05-29 15:41

      @zymsimango - Those two are not mutually exclusive. Freedom of speech, includes the right to insult without advocating hate or violence, because being insulted is your choice as is being flattered.

      WessBergg - 2012-05-30 09:31

      @Thumbs Down - Bill of Rights Section 16 Freedom of expression Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes ­ freedom of the press and other media; freedom to receive or impart information or ideas; freedom of artistic creativity; and academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. The right in subsection (1) does not extend to ­ propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

  • Farieda - 2012-05-29 11:58

    Great Article...@ Franklyn - I second that

  • Andile - 2012-05-29 11:59

    Eusebius! what a waist of words and time.

  • attie - 2012-05-29 12:39

    Eusebius McKaiser jy's 'n blerrie yster! Uitstekende stuk!

  • henk.f.prinsloo - 2012-05-29 12:55

    A note on the side column directed at me having read this article: " Your friends can now see that you have viewed this article." And this time they will note that I didn't bother to comment. I'm white man, you may "condescend on" white people. They are relegated to subjects, no longer may they claim to be citizens. You may go out on weekends and hunt down white farmers. But you and you "trophies' will not fetch the front pages of city press. But you may rest assured that this country's dependence on imported food will be increased. I am saying this because the editor, Ferial Haffajee, did what has become fashionable in South Africa. While being at "The Spear", you must just as well launch a blow to apartheid. Congrats Haffajee,you have done somethign right in Eusebius McKaiser's books. But you have also contributed to the rift and to racial intolerance.

  • lerato.kay.3 - 2012-05-29 13:23

    @ Eusebius McKaiser, What a lame argument, national interest doesn’t only protect the majority it also serves the minority. When dubulu ibhunu was banned who benefited from that – the minority. It’s about protecting fellow S Africans if one group feels offended by a direct attack on their beliefs, culture etc they must be protected. Why must one derive satisfaction by making your fellow countrymen’s life hell? If you really want to see the portrait why don’t you print yourself a life size and hang it in your lounge, easy! Ferial Haffajee did what’s good for her and business what benefit does she derive from ANC boycott or spending valuable time on this stupid issues. Wat to go Ferial Haffajee am sure you got better things to report on.

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-05-29 14:21

      Hey Lerato, amazing you think the President life is hell! In fact far from it! If you care to analyse you will see that the ruling party makes the lives of millions hell and seem to gain a lot of satisfaction out of it! Double standards I dare say!!

      sven.gohre - 2012-05-29 16:09

      Lerato, the painting in no way called for the murder of anyone. Dubulu Ibhunu calls for the killing of the Boer (White farmers), so it was considered hate speech and was banned. Not to appease the minority, but to attempt to stop the killing of innocent men, women and children by Primitive Cretins, that just happen to have Black skins. The two cannot be compared in any way.

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-29 13:27

    She buckled under the ANC's pressure. She lost, they won.

  • zymsimango - 2012-05-29 13:36

    City press and DA are sleeping in the same bed with same blanket, not suprised why da supporters are crying foul blaming their sleeping partner by removing the disgusting picture claimed to represent the freedom of speech.

      WessBergg - 2012-05-29 15:45

      @zymsimango - Freedom of speech includes the right to be disgusting, seeing as what you find disgusting, I might find cool. That's the idea behind it my friend. As long as you don't advocate hate or violence towards others, you can say pretty much anything....

      WessBergg - 2012-05-30 09:32

      @Thumbs Down - Bill of Rights Section 16 Freedom of expression Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes ­ freedom of the press and other media; freedom to receive or impart information or ideas; freedom of artistic creativity; and academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. The right in subsection (1) does not extend to ­ propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.

  • Matthew - 2012-05-29 13:39

    So True!

  • scott.kirby.752 - 2012-05-29 13:41

    Is disgraceful that the paper has bowed to political interference, now is the time to boycott City Press!!!! What kind of precedence does this set, anytime the government doesn't like something it rounds up a rent-a-mob and the media folds... I grew up in Zim and have sadly seen all this before, good luck SA you're going to need it.

      zymsimango - 2012-05-29 13:54

      thanks but no thanks for your useless comment, please go back to zim and enjoy real actions

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-05-29 14:23

      scott.kirby.752 ignore the less educated. You are quiet right!

      bearpup - 2012-05-29 15:04

      Still waiting for an explanation from the ANC sycophants on these's like been a week already and no answer to my question! Why this painting and not this one?

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-05-29 13:49

    I fully agree with the author and I fear SA has crossed a new rubicon where every artist, paper and commentator will now first weigh up the backlash they will receive from the ANC masses before they will open "themselves" and in this process free thinking and expression has been dealt a very cruel blow and I doubt if it will survive.

      sven.gohre - 2012-05-29 16:12

      louis I plan to paint JZ bending a SA citizen over and screwing him up the arse, with long lines of poor SA citizens lining up to be abused in that manner. I wonder if the anc will march to have that painting banned, lol.

      louis.langenhoven - 2012-05-29 16:17

      who knows ne? maybe its a part of a culture somewhere and no offense is taken

  • Mashudu - 2012-05-29 13:52

    Dear Eusebius, In respond to your letter, i would like to differ with ur opinion. According to the Constitution and the Zulu's Culture Zuma is allowed to marry as many wives as He want. He is practicing his Culture and his rights and people should respect that. Polygamy is African thing and it has been there for decades. Zuma is not afraid to fall his heart and His culture and people must deal with that.

      WessBergg - 2012-05-29 15:50

      The painting has not a lot to do with Polygamy. Its actually about the ills of socialism if you look closely....

      andrew.pottow - 2012-05-30 11:58

      Polygamy is one thing. Impregnating the daughter of your friend, out of wedlock is another.

  • boonvovo - 2012-05-29 13:58

    Yoh mara amaattention seeker ayakinya man!!!!!! We have better things to worry about like the Firing of Richard Mdluli and tge campaign to reinstate General Bheki Cele with him we have seen a reform in the Police Force and Crime reduction and high police visibility.......

  • leonard.w.gray - 2012-05-29 14:51

    cowards at city press, money was the best leverage here, anc nailed them to the wall.

  • Chrono - 2012-05-29 14:55

    Good contribution Eusebius. The example of gay rights is a fitting illustration of what is actually NOT in the national interest but what needs to be recognised. But bringing back the death penalty and "smacking" kids in our schools are not narrow interests. No sir. These are indeed things of national interest that need to be reintroduced!

  • bearpup - 2012-05-29 15:03

    Still waiting for an explanation from the ANC sycophants on these's like been a week already and no answer to my question! Why this painting and not this one?

  • Tc - 2012-05-29 15:16

    Do anyone in SA still think that the bill-of-rights or constitution means anything to the plundering ANC?

  • Maggie - 2012-05-29 16:32

    This confirms that ANC is in control, anything that suits them will go and anything that does not will not happen. This is how they operate even amongst themselvs come the Magaung Elections. It is said!!!!!!!

  • leko.dada1 - 2012-05-29 16:46

    No comment.

  • Phillip - 2012-05-29 17:00

    "Your heart is in the right place, and you decided it is best to take down the image from your website, BUT I THINK YOU MADE A GIGANTIC MISTAKE !". I'm wondering where the heart of the problem lies, therefore, Eusebius. Might it be that your heart not be in the 'right place'? Your platitudinous argument, inordinately verbose may it be, is in the end paternalistic ("you must be brave, Ferial, as many say you are, and let go of the prospects of being liked by everyone"), shallow and simplistic, and smacks of one that emanates from a bruised ego, more than anything else. Despite your assurances that you 'have her back' (as though a few random 'tweets' constitutes this), Ferial amiably carried this burden all by herself for the free thinkers of this country, whilst some closet journo's threw stones from behind their white walls. Hers was neither a response to fear or intimidation, nor pressure from her boss. Your claim to know her, is a wasted, ego-boosting, falsehood. Predictably it escapes you that her action to diffuse the national tension, the job of exposure having run it's course, was the very last thing the ANC wanted her to do. Now why would someone so concerned with freedom of expression want to play right into the opponents hands? Only one whose ego has been injuriously offended by the actions of another, probably.

  • Piston - 2012-05-29 18:14

    ...enter Zapiro..

  • njabulom - 2012-05-29 22:23

    this article is one-sided, and fails to capture all primary issues at play, the competing rights, that is artistic freedom vs dignity, and bring a balance that takes us forward, not impressed.

      andrew.pottow - 2012-05-30 11:55

      He took into account the dignity argument, and it is invalid. To have dignity does not mean one is not allowed to be offended. It was thrown out of court on the basis. Dignity does not come into play in this issue. So stop going on about it. As the great Aristotle once said: \Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them.\ And if dignity as such, no one can take it away from you by insulting you.

  • Gus - 2012-05-29 23:52

    Reading Mr McKaiser one gets the impression that he appreciates such "paintings". Particularly when they are well hung.

  • nimrod.mqonqo - 2012-05-30 00:21

    Who owns city press? Did Ms f H consult the owners,was she instructed or did she decide on her own? What are the owners saying?

  • flysouth - 2012-05-30 07:35

    After taking down the image from her website and then also apologising, Hafajee then, to her astonishhment and dismay found that even this was not enough for the bullies of the ANC - they then demanded further apologies be printed in her newspaper! It is never a good idea to capitulate to bullies - the only way to deal with them and get rid of them is to fight them. Hafajee should not put the image back up on the website and tell the ANC to take a flying phukc!

  • bmaestro - 2012-05-30 08:47


  • bmaestro - 2012-05-30 08:54

    LET ME ASSERT MY FIRM BELIEF THAT THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITS SELF.the whim of an angry segment of city press readership terrified the editor and she bowed out under pressure which is quiet understandable really

  • phila.kunene.355 - 2012-05-30 10:21

    Irrespective of what all liberals say the city press and including any other publication would have bowed to the ANC's demand and in future you will learn to listen and know that this is AFRICA and you must respect African values. The only time I am waiting for is black economic freedom and that will only happen when the black middle class start engaging witth the ruling ANC on beneficial economic policies rather than the BEE whereby one person benefits. One thing for sure black interlectuals will conquer and we will have economic freedom!

  • gemmaleigh.evans.3 - 2012-05-30 10:35

    Ai ai ai...this story is getting old. Is it going to last as long as world war two or can we now move on to more pressing matters than a flaccid depiction of a penis. I mean really now...its not getting us anywhere. Both sides of the racial divide are standing their ground, adamant in their convictions...nothing will change their minds. We are stubborn as a nation! That said...what is the point of firing endless insults and accusations at each other? We can only hope that with time will come a change...until then, I really think we should all just agree to disagree and move on to more urgent issues.

      yolande.rwaai - 2012-05-30 11:49


  • aniel.soma - 2012-05-30 13:09

    I believe that the points were already made by teh painting so no point in "flogging a dead horse" so I believe that Fariel acted wisely and still maintains the moral high ground. In the process, the ANC's bullying tactics were there for all to see.

      Cyril - 2012-05-30 16:15

      a classic case of sacrificial violence... poor brett murray has to carry Zuma to Mangaung

  • Graeme Smith - 2012-05-31 09:57

    Sorry that you made the decision you did. It has weakened your position as one of the most respected newspaper writers. Bowing to political pressure (which I am sure was intense) on this issue - what issue will be next..! The ANC now believe that any comment they disagree with can be squashed by a march and loud noise. Sorry. This painting, even in its current form, will draw crowds overseas if it's ever exhibited. It's value now has become priceless and made more important by the ANC tactics.

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