Court packed for The Spear case

2013-04-03 11:47
<em>The Spear</em> (File, City Press)

The Spear (File, City Press)

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The Spear guard to go on trial

2012-11-01 16:17

A Goodman Gallery security guard is set to go on trial for allegedly assaulting the man accused of defacing The Spear. Watch.WATCH

Johannesburg - Court Two at the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court was packed as Louis Mabokela, accused of smearing Brett Murray's painting The Spear, was expected to appear on charges of malicious damage to property.

Before the court room filled up, around 60 protesters arrived at the court toyi toying and chanting Louis's name.

Barend la Grange, who also smeared the painting and later paid a R1 000 fine, was present in court in anticipation of Mabokela's appearance.

Those who had arrived for Mabokela's appearance were then asked to leave the court room until the matter came up on the court roll.

Mabokela faces charges of malicious damage to property for allegedly defacing the painting which depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

It was part of an exhibition Hail to the Thief II and created an uproar over whether it should be displayed under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression, or whether it was offensive to the president and African culture.

The African National Congress took the gallery to court to force it to remove the painting, and it was shortly after an initial court process related to this had adjourned that word spread that the painting had been defaced.

An film crew happened to be at the gallery and later screened footage of Mabokela and La Grange separately painting over the work.

Later the same day, George Moyo, who once registered the trademarks for the ANC's merchandise, was arrested for spray-painting half the word "respect" on the gallery's wall. The malicious damage to property charges Moyo faced were later withdrawn.

The ANC also withdrew its case against the gallery.

Read more on:    goodman gallery  |  louis mabokela  |  brett murray  |  johannesburg  |  zuma painting

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