Nzimande calls for City Press boycott

By Drum Digital
24 May 2012

SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande has called for a boycott of the City Press newspaper to start this week, SABC reported on Thursday.

The boycott call follows the newspaper's coverage of the Goodman Gallery art exhibition which displayed artist Brett Murray's painting "The Spear" depicting President Jacob Zuma's exposed genitals.

"Human dignity, especially black dignity, must be respected in this country," Nzimande said.

City Press supported the exhibition saying it was "free speech" and they published the painting on the newspaper's website -- despite calls to withdraw it.

Nzimande made the comments while attending the annual National Union of Mineworkers congress, currently underway at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park.

SABC said Nzimande urged the tripartite alliance partners, (the Communist Party, ANC and Congress of South African Trade Unions) and sympathetic organisations and churches not to buy the newspaper.

He also said subscribers should cancel their subscriptions.

Outside the Johannesburg High Court crowds watched court proceedings to have the painting removed from display on big screens set up in the street.

Umkhonto we Sizwe regional member Bongo Magcai said he hoped the judge was "sober minded".

"The painting is very disrespectful," he said.

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 was temporarily closed.

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