City Press disturbed by boycott call

2012-05-24 13:42

Johannesburg - City Press editor-in-chief Ferial Haffajee said on Thursday she is "deeply disturbed" by the SACP's calls to boycott the newspaper over its coverage of the controversial artwork "The Spear".

"As an editor one tries one's best to be first with the news and to maximise your newspaper's impact. No one wants a boycott."

SA Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande made the call while addressing the National Union of Mineworkers congress in Kempton Park.

The Brett Murray work The Spear was on display in the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg, until it was vandalised by two men on Tuesday. It shows President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

City Press drew attention to the exhibition, upsetting many South Africans by publishing a picture of the painting on its website, and then refusing to withdraw it when people were offended.

The newspaper argued the work represented "freedom of expression".

Haffajee said she had known Nzimande for many years and had always thought of him as a "man of ideas who loves to debate".

"He is someone you can sit with and talk to, which is why what he said makes me very sad."

She said Nzimande was a powerful person and, in the current economic climate, it was tough for any newspaper to deal with a boycott.

In a speech to the NUM Nzimande said: "Human dignity, especially black dignity, must be respected in this country."

  • Jana - 2012-05-24 13:47

    Why 'especially' black dignity... Good job City Press!

      leoa.martins - 2012-05-24 14:43

      Don't know what black dignity he is talking about as there are millions in this country whose dignity is being stripped off them due to the ANC govt's corruption!!

      Arthur - 2012-05-24 15:40

      I shall buy City Press on Sunday for the very first time!

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-05-24 15:56

      I have not bought a City Press in months now and do not feel the need buy either, quite boring since she took over

      Irene - 2012-05-24 16:01

      Because of the comments to boycott City Press by Blade and also dronk Jackson, I will now buy the newspaper. What a pathetic bunch of morons the cANCer is. Viva City Press Viva!

      thozi - 2012-05-24 17:07

      @Jana People that Mantashe, Nzimande and Mthembu are appealing to not to buy the City Press, are normally people who do not buy/read any newspaper anyway. They rely on 'word of mouth' from their comrades' gossip . Those who read papers, including other papers than the City Press, will be out in force to get it, in order to find out what makes City Press tick. I will be buying my copy as usual. What a free advert for the City Press!

  • mihaip007 - 2012-05-24 13:48

    "Human dignity, especially black dignity, must be respected in this country." - sounds like Mr. Spear Junior thinks that black dignity is more important than collective human dignity..! The word "especially" gave it out..!

      mariuskowie - 2012-05-24 13:58

      You are right about the "especially". This single statement made by Nzimande is more racist than the whole spear painting and the related noise put together. This "especially" attitute is also very visible in the ANC ranks.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-24 13:54

    While every bodies attention may be diverted by this pathetic attempt again by the Zuma regime to fulfill their mandate to become dictators of South Africa has anybody taken note of what has just happened in parliament. The government has just decided to give away over 300billion rand of our money to Cuba, unconditionally. Decided by a balance of one vote by the chair. WTF!

      mihaip007 - 2012-05-24 13:59

      where is that story man? Are you sure of the figures - THAT is a VERY sad decision, if true..! WOW absolutely UNREAL! It sounds like one of those believe-it-or-not stories on tv..!

      Phelamanga - 2012-05-24 14:01

      Isn't it strange how the National Democratic State of Cuba, the focal point of COSATU and the SACP, has to be bailed out! Who's going to bail us out if we become a National Democratic State? And it looks as if the R300bn could be used to pay back the etolling fiasco and develop more roads and infrastructure. If the wealth of the Castros was nationalised, Cuba would not have to get an unconditional loan at all.

      mariuskowie - 2012-05-24 14:01

      They give 300billion to Cuba and bitch that the toll project cannot be paid for. WTF

      mihaip007 - 2012-05-24 14:15

      what happened? Did we buy Cuba?

  • gideon.rossouw - 2012-05-24 13:55

    Does anybody in the current ANC leadership still actually reflect on and debate political strategy, or has it become the norm to storm around like an out of control BMW limousine, pedal to the metal, going off half-cocked most of the time?

  • Bless Boswell - 2012-05-24 14:00

    Has anyone taken the time to look at Mail & guardian's website: Zapiro's satiric renderings of MANY other individuals (including Zuma). Some are quite irreverent and sometimes quite rude and extremely funny. The individuals concerned, to my knowledge, have taken it all in good humor. Why must Zuma be different about the painting? Is he perhaps annoyed as he has been portrayed as being fairly average when it comes to his "toti"? Would he have been so hysterical had it been really large? Is that what this is about?

      leoa.martins - 2012-05-24 14:41

      He would have been a hero if he had gone to the painting and put his signature on it instead of causing the idiotic commotion he has at the taxpayers expense!!! The police are there in riot gear and police nyalas....we, the TAX payer, are paying for them to be there!!! So directly or indirectly, our hard-earned money is being used for this pathetic case!!

      gavin.lott.9 - 2012-05-24 15:58

      I thought it was quite large?...."dammit"

  • Manu - 2012-05-24 14:00

    You are not sensitive to your readership and you still expect to sell newspapers? eh? No common sense.

      Manu - 2012-05-24 17:08

      kenny, I would suggest that Bret use words instead of art. Tell me when you see a picture of a p*nis do you get a mental picture of a 1000 words? All I saw was vulgarity and not a political message. Anyway are the pictures of male organs now the starting pointing of political discourse? Will people be communicating political ideas using the images of naked people?

  • nmateke - 2012-05-24 14:00

    ""especially" black dignity be respected, I hope you made this comments only for the fact that Blacks are always undermined by some individuals. But I wouldn't have said it that way if it was me.... anyway Zuma was undermined in this case and he is Black

      neels.swart.7 - 2012-05-24 14:15


      Henry - 2012-05-24 14:28

      Zuma undermines himself,perhaps he should act like a president instead of a horny school boy

  • wisani.mathonsi1 - 2012-05-24 14:08

    Why is Ferial Haffajee, crying foul when the Guns are pointing at her direction? People are disgusted by her newspaper refusal and defence of the spear, saying its freedom of expression. City press is a family paper she should have thot about the after effects of publishing the spear and her uttrances.@ Ferial, you made your bed now go on girl, lay on it..

      Irene - 2012-05-24 16:02

      Hey Feral, from now on I will buy your newspaper. You go girl !!!

  • delmaree.dupreez - 2012-05-24 14:11

    Y blAck dignity after 18 yrs one would think we can look past colour come on now don't u think this colour card has been played for far too long. People r dying in this country people r homeless and jobless does the govt care about their dignity when they have to beg for food or a place to sleep I think not

      nhlanhla.hadebe.9 - 2012-05-24 17:23

      It took more than 100 years to tarnish blacks dignity and it won't take mere 18 years to restore it....

  • collen.masetla - 2012-05-24 14:15

    blade is always debating no never take him serious...from this sunday i want 4 copies of city press

  • 2bg - 2012-05-24 14:16

    U reap what u sow

  • Bra Tebzaah Sibilanga - 2012-05-24 14:17

    Blade has a point.I am cancelling my subscription,they are busy fuelling hatred.I am no Zuma fan but that portrait is demeaning.

      shauns4700 - 2012-05-24 14:37

      And the question on everybody's lips is would you feel the same if the painting was about FW de Klerk?

      Henry - 2012-05-24 14:37

      ancyl huh. Pretends to read newspapers.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-24 15:26

      To cut your nose is to spite your face.

      Desmond - 2012-05-24 15:33

      thanks. i will take up your prescription

      Thabang - 2012-05-24 16:00

      @Leonardb1..I was listening to Ayanda's interview on Radio 2000..the man is mentally derailed..he could not explain the painting..and he is quite a vulgarian.

  • Thapelo - 2012-05-24 14:19

    a good call

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-05-24 15:57

      I stopped long before the call

  • Stefans - 2012-05-24 14:21

    Some ask "why black dignity?" The answer, apartheid SA and its supporters who are still here today never regarded black people to have dignity. Thats why people like Brett Murray cann paint such things about a black person. They have never painted nude pictures of any white president in the past.Even if they may have done paintings about abuse of power of past regimes, no nude paintings were done. City Press in the dark days of apartheid was supported by black people and that is why it survived then and even today the majority of City Press readers are predominantely black, hence Ferial's worries about a boycott. People are therefore entitled not to buy that newspaper. The media tend to think that they are a law unto themselves. Freedom of speech and exprssion has to have limits especially when it concerns one's dignity as a person.

      markvanboom - 2012-05-24 15:34

      Well said Stefans. Hope some of these idiots could have your insight.

  • t.j.setshedi - 2012-05-24 14:26

    freedom of expression cnt supersedes human dignity.thats my verdict.amandla awethuuuu.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-24 14:31


  • humphrey.s.mbothwe - 2012-05-24 14:30

    I used to buy Sunday news papers but I stop four years ago because of biased reporting. I get the news from SA FM and News24 cause even if I witness bias from them at least I'm not paying them from my pocket.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-24 14:31


      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-24 15:23

      Do you get your internet time free? Don't you pay for your TV licens? If not you are a criminal for you are steeling.

      humphrey.s.mbothwe - 2012-05-24 15:30

      nettie.potgieter.5 don't be an idiot, you must check your IQ. I said I'm not paying SA FM and News24, where does TV licence come from? To access the internet is part of BlackBerry BIS idiot.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-24 16:08

      If you do not have a tv you must get a radio licens. If you have a tv you must have a tv licens and radio license is inclouded in tv licence. In order to Rica you have to or have a contract or pay as you go So jou pay. Nothing in live is free. BB is not free. And all is a legal requierment If jou do not comply you are commeting a crime.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-24 16:16

      Ignorance of the law is know excuse. Who is the idiot now and who's IQ in need now. Please get your ducs in a row. And don't you ever belive something is for free becouse you always pay one way or a nother!

      humphrey.s.mbothwe - 2012-05-24 16:19


      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-24 16:24

      Thanks you just showed me that it is imposible for you to understand the truth.

      humphrey.s.mbothwe - 2012-05-24 16:31

      nettie.potgieter.5 at the end of the day Broadcast Media such as SABC TV and SABC radio are non-profit organization compare to print media and DSTV. Paying TV license once a year and R59 a month for BIS is nothing compare than paying /- R15 every week just for a newspaper which is subliminal and bias. When one pay for internet access is not paying News24 but pay to access the internet in a process can also access News24 and all other websites available on a net.

  • Ringeta - 2012-05-24 14:38

    We will boycot it. I will buy sundaytimes from now. The paper is racist.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-24 14:48


      paulmandlankosi - 2012-05-24 15:58

      Good call but a little too late for me

  • Nomfundo - 2012-05-24 14:39

    Nzimande is flying Zuma's flag more than he does work for the SACP; all he wants is to make sure that in the next corrupt and greedy ANC government he will still get a ministerial position. He was frustrated by Mandela and Thabo for a long time not having time to eat hence he had to resort to the black bag money.

      Aikhona - 2012-05-24 16:35

      Eish, thats a bit below the belt. But then again, the blunt blade pulls his pants up so high it will just bounce off his well-taxpayer-fed belly.

  • gregoryjgrove - 2012-05-24 14:44

    "Especially black dignity must be respected"??? Really? What makes black dignity more worthy of respect than any other races' dignity in our "rainbow" nation? One could almost see this as a racist remark? Really Blade, get a grip!

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-24 14:51

      Yes Yes, Especially Black Dignity cos' it was our Dignity that was disenfranchized hence we crave being handled with soft cuddly woolen gloves, Thanks.

  • brainbowgold - 2012-05-24 14:48

    Higher education time, Blade. You have forgotten what you fought for.

  • Abby - 2012-05-24 14:50

    The Editor in Chief should have carefully considered this before publishing this dehumanizing artwork. She should know thatt RESPECT is held in high esteem by most Africans, and it is taken to an extreme in the communication or oral traditions of the people. Dignified and honest respect must remain sacrosanct. I have been a subsciber of City Press for years now its time to reconsider otherwise.

  • neilza - 2012-05-24 14:54

    its alright. SACP members cant read anyways

      humphrey.s.mbothwe - 2012-05-24 15:03

      Are you smoking something, don't be dumb as mud.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-24 18:44

      Expose your ignorance Neil,

  • george.lee3 - 2012-05-24 14:57

    Nzimande said: "Human dignity,especially black dignity, must be respected in this country." so does he mean that only black people have dignity. so what about my dignity as a white person or any race in South Africa. What makes some of the black better than the other irespective of race.

      Abby - 2012-05-24 15:03

      It is not the native who started all this trouble, guess who???

      Twentyfivemay - 2012-05-24 15:13

      He says so coz its ur race that's celebrating a painting of an exposed black man

  • Zenzile Tshanda - 2012-05-24 15:05

    @neels there's a Q between the N and the U.

  • mncedisi.budaza - 2012-05-24 15:07

    Forget Blade am still gona buy my city press. We cannt just ban news paper because they publish what u are against with. Some ppl do nt deserve to be leaders.

      humphrey.s.mbothwe - 2012-05-24 15:21

      You remind me of the song\Blacks are fools\ and you one of those. Maybe one day you will wake up from inferiority complex.

      Mpumelelo - 2012-05-24 17:42

      Yes mbothwe plus you,

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-24 18:47

      Eish, Your opinion Budaza, He is a good President undeserving of this Ridicule. Lost your roots on the DSTV ??

  • Michael - 2012-05-24 15:17

    I maintain its only a painting, i think its hits Zuma nerve because he is cracking up...What other candidates in the anc are good for leadership...scary

  • kenneth.mthethwa - 2012-05-24 15:18

    No more City Press for me,thanks.I have cancelled my subs.Its not about Zuma,its about a lack of respect for a Black person.

      Irene - 2012-05-24 16:05

      Oh get over yourself already fool.

  • NvMacatsha - 2012-05-24 15:18

    Blade mAy as well tell us to boycott the internet.. Has this painting become racist jus coz it was painted by a white man. Would it be less demeaning of Zuma's character had it been painted by a black man. There are seriously more serious issues that worry some of us than this painting... Our education and health care systems are failing our people, the youth is still troubled by unemployment... Can we find solutions to these problems which realy affect us, the painting is already destroyed so its time to move on... By the way can someone please define the word RACIST so people can stop using it in the wrong context.

  • mike.clery - 2012-05-24 15:21

    No sympathy for Ferial Haffajee from me. Only a handful of people would have known about this work, but the most provocative piece in the exhibition was selected and given prominence because "a bowl of flowers" wouldn't be a "test". What that's done is promote a storm of racial division in SA - and hand Zuma (and the ANC) the support of ambivalent voters. Let's not pretend that this is a case of the press "just reporting what's out there" - City Press staff discussed the possible consequences before they published.

  • Thabang - 2012-05-24 15:30

    Respect for Elders epitomises African culture..if Ferial Haffajee and all her 'liberals' friends have a problem with that, then clearly City Press will no longer get my monetary respect...

      Irene - 2012-05-24 16:06

      Where does the rape of little babies and old women fit into 'african culture'?

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-24 18:47

      Feral Haffajee.......More like it.

  • nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-24 15:35

    The ANC and cronies is creating is big OeAa just to score ponts and to split the nation in two. They also want to hide the infighting and back stabbing in the ANC.

  • keith.recore - 2012-05-24 15:38

    knee jerk reactions and selective political outrage usually run their course in a relatively short amount of time. Eventually cooler heads prevail, the real issue is seen for what it is, life goes on. There will be other faux "disturbing" issues to come, in the interim. 4000 people live at Randonstein landfill, children without textbooks, millions unemployed, crime rates too high, basic services below par, court cases backlogged that are of real substance to everday South Africans, yet the "spear" is in court within days. Apparently it is about priorities or not???

  • dean.polley.3 - 2012-05-24 15:46

    ABLACKHEID live and kicking!! In a speech to the NUM Nzimande said: "Human dignity, especially black dignity, must be respected in this country." So is the dignity of other races less important than black dignity? This is not what is enshrined in our constitution! Blade, your words reflect what a true racist you are. As a government minister, you should be acting more responsibly and promoting racial harmony, not racial division. Looking after the interests of all South Africans is supposed to be the priority of the government. But then again it is obviously the ANC's policy to promote and encourage racial division.

  • Lerato - 2012-05-24 15:52

    I wonder why the ANC is not suing Ayanda Mabulu? it becasue he is black? hypocrits! Personally I like the painting and think it makes Zuma look kind of masculine and strong.....non the less they are bloody hypocrits to hang Brett out to dry and leave Ayandas painting thats far worse alone. ANC must stop tryint to canvass for votes with this painting cause they know that the people have no other reason to vote for them casue they are so bloody corrupt.....nxa! they think were stupid and cant see though their using this for electioneering! and why the hell is it BLack dignity......thats rich considering all the people they are slowly killing wiht their corruption! what about their dignity? bloody neanderthals!

      danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-25 09:47

      Lerato, Well said. we need more people like you, who are able to look beyond the race card that the ANC is using continuously to blind their supporters. Only when enough people realize who rotten the ANC is there will be a chance for things to improve.

  • George - 2012-05-24 15:55

    Jana, the dignity that was stolen from blacks by the apartheid government. Even if there was no corruption,maladministration, blacks would still be in a mess. You think everything is where it is because of the ANC? The ANC has only been in power for 18years. It's true they are not making things any better because of not wanting to upset the white community by implimenting some of the freedom charter policies. Blacks are currently under siege becasue the government is very apologetic about making crucial decisions.

  • Mnguni - 2012-05-24 16:00

    Blade please don't include us we shall continue to buy the news paper u re free to boycot on your own or even with your crew pls sir don't ill-advise us I now working of City Press

      Melusi - 2012-05-24 16:07

      Please translate last sentence!

      Ted - 2012-05-24 16:12

      Who is 'US'? Mnguni, Blade is a leader of a party. Who are you representing?

  • patrickchina.ngene - 2012-05-24 16:10

    Blade s rite, lets boycott city press. I also blieve we r da 1 who buy it most. Makubenjalo......!

  • Melusi - 2012-05-24 16:23

    This Ferial girly will be forced to apologise or face the sack by her superior who know very well they can't afford boycott from blacks who make a huge majority if CP and greedy shareholders can't afford to lose money over Ferial's ego,she's gone and good riddance

      Aikhona - 2012-05-24 16:47

      Eish boetie, its obvious you are also a daily sun reader. Please stick to that rag as anything with a bit more information will just fry the last braincell u hav left.

  • Tumelo - 2012-05-24 16:25

    Why would I support a paper that disrespect a black dignity, a President of the country nogal! Until I receive a public apology from the City Press, Im sadly suspending my subscription. Sunday Tribune here I come.

      Aikhona - 2012-05-24 16:54

      I agree with you, a black dignity.Problem is, with the National Idiot there is no black dignity to respect. He gave up that right the moment he claimed that a shower prevents HIV, turned into a jumping jack the moment he made president, fathered a child out of wedlock - whilst married to a gazillion wifes, couldn`t read a speech properly, can`t think independently, defended cronyism and nepotism, condemned all the kids of limpopo and the eastern cape to a future with no hope, equally condemned thousands of mineworkers and even more thousands of their dependents to hunger, etc, etc. If you had any `a black dignity`left, you wouldn`t defend the indefensible. The National Embarrasment is bad news for this country, and the sooner yoiu realize it the better.

  • Dodozi - 2012-05-24 16:30

    Now I know why the government wants to regulate papers and SANEF refuses. Its this biased reporting that prompts this decision. The same City Press Editors refused to publish a story of a building hijacking belonging to a poor black community by a big company named(JHC), and refused to give us reasons. From then I stopped buying City Press.

  • Aikhona - 2012-05-24 16:43

    Ma`me, not too worry. I understand there might be some repercussions, but if your bosses have even an ounce of the integrity you display so readily, they will also defend the right of the newspaper to publish information without any fear or favour. I for one support the principled stance you`ve taken, and can but admire you for your strength and courage. I think the blunt blade might just have over-estimated the intellectual capability of his audience, as we know the daily sun is the newspaper of choice for a certain segment of the population. I shall henceforth go out and out and put in a subscription to your excellent publication, and shall encourage everyone close to me to do the same. Like I said, we have your back. This is a rotten bunch, and mr squeaky voice was never important in the bigger scheme of things anyway.

  • Aijaman - 2012-05-24 16:56

    U got what u were looking for...We won't buy City Press!!!That's it

  • Thami - 2012-05-24 17:18

    Yes lets not buy the news paper power to the people screw you city press

  • Junain - 2012-05-24 17:32

    If there was 3 editions of City Press everyday I will still it 7x52

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-24 18:41

    This is the way of the TA. Always force, threats, intimidation, division, hatred. What is "black dignity" ? Is there something like black honesty, black integrity, black hope, black aspirations, black intelligence etc??? Is this not utterly racist?

  • Ro - 2012-05-24 19:06

    Doubt any Commis read your newspaper as its beyond their intellectual understanding so I would not worry.

  • Andre - 2012-05-24 21:16

    I bet Mrs City press is struggling to sleep tonight

  • Maphasa - 2012-05-25 00:30

    Why am I not surprised? City Press has always been a "white" newspaper. I also call on all black people to boycott this white thing. Indians and Coloureds can join if they want to.

  • Amethyst - 2012-05-25 08:15

    I never buy the City Press but I will definitely be buying it this weekend - I am one South African who refuses to go back in history - this is a free and democratic country or so we led to believe, so why are we told to boycott a newspapers because some people dont agree with a stance it has taken.

  • Herman - 2012-05-25 09:29

    I am buying it for the first time this comming weekend, thanks blade and mantashe.