Charges against gallery defacer dropped

2012-07-19 12:07

Johannesburg - Charges were on Thursday withdrawn against the man who spray-painted part of the word "respect" on the wall of the Goodman Gallery during the controversy over The Spear painting.

"The charge against you has been withdrawn," Magistrate Nerina Govender told George Moyo.

He nodded, stepped out of the dock, left the court, and Govender continued with the roll.

Moyo was arrested in May after spray-painting the letters "res" on an outside wall of the gallery. It was done at the height of a controversy over a painting by artist Brett Murray depicting President Jacob Zuma with genitals hanging out of his trousers.

He was the fourth person arrested in connection with the drama over the painting.

Speaking on the sidelines of the case, senior public prosecutor Mojalefe Metswamere said the gallery had filed a statement of withdrawal of charges.

He said it was a confidential document. A formal application to the director of public prosecutions could be made for it to be viewed, for details on why charges were withdrawn.

At his last appearance, where it became apparent that charges might be withdrawn, Moyo said outside the court: "If asked to do it again, I would do it."

He had been the first to appear in court after the painting was defaced at the Rosebank, Johannesburg gallery on May 23. Barend la Grange and Louis Mabokela were filmed by eNews painting over the work.

Their case is still underway and their last appearance prompted an angry outburst over delays in the investigation by the presiding magistrate.

Gallery security guard Paul Molesiwa was also charged with assault due to the way he apprehended Mabokela.

The painting itself was eventually removed from the gallery.

  • scouter.fourone - 2012-07-19 12:17

    Bit of a conundrum - the Gallery espousing the concept of 'freedom of expression' versus malicious injury to property. Catch 22 situation....

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-07-19 12:19

    Freedom of expression!!!he painted the gallery!!

  • Jacques - 2012-07-19 12:26

    I think the judge had an apprehension that the accused has a natural talent to be a painter

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-19 12:27

    No remorse,says he will do it again??? Amazing what belonging to the "right" party lets you get away with!!!!

      msendi - 2012-07-19 12:38

      What is the right party? I want to join it…

      clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-19 12:43

      @ msendi - I think you belong to that party already!

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-19 13:42

      The part about Goodman Gallery having decided to withdraw the charges must have gone over your head, unless your point was to reveal that the Goodman Gallery owners are members of the “right party.”

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-07-19 14:28

      No Themba it didnt go over my head! However the fact that an enormous of pressure was exerted on the gallery obviously went way over yours!

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-19 15:09

      Your first name should be changed to “Steen~Racism” to acknowledge the fact that you have the talent see racism even where non exists.

      themba.thwala.98 - 2012-07-19 15:30

      I just came with an even brighter idea: your surname, wait for it. You are going to love this: Steenkoppietjie. Has a nice ring to it do you agree :)

      IcemanGP - 2012-07-19 15:46

      @themba, ...child.

  • gieljam.gomtor - 2012-07-19 12:30

    He was only trying to dress a pointer on the person and made a mess. I think he must go on a Modeling or artists course of how to cover images professionally...

  • des.cider - 2012-07-19 12:38

    I don’t understand this! If someone paints my wall, he charges me and I pay him unless the work is substandard in which case the painter withdraws the charge.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-19 12:43

      That is very clever Des - it will likely go over many heads, though.

  • Chris_420 - 2012-07-19 12:46

    are we really still on this painting?

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-07-19 13:03

    Yaaawwwnn!! This cow has been milked dry along time ago.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-07-19 17:08

      Ahhh but one of the sustainable currencies of history, is art. Defaced or otherwise. It's what goes on to provoke a piece of art in the first place, that makes the picture interesting and worthwhile.

  • thutothegreat - 2012-07-19 13:21

    I think for the protection of the gallery and it's employees, they did the right thing, but for the sake of freedom of speech, this is a sad case.

  • charmaine.mcdonald2 - 2012-07-19 13:38

    Msendi, the Right Party is the Party of God, it is written that: "It is The Party Of God that will Win eventually."

  • solomontja - 2012-07-19 14:30 the other 2 need to be withdrawn as well, but the security guard can be given to me, i will sort him out...bloody paraside

  • IcemanGP - 2012-07-19 15:43

    I feel the charges should be dropped as well. They did the country a favour by painting over the face of that dick. It shamed them that this is what the man had become.

  • flysouth - 2012-07-19 15:55

    So who leaned on the gallery owner?

  • popeye.sailor.1884 - 2012-10-10 19:46

    I had another look at the painting. I still think it is Malema hanging from Zuma’s pants!

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