FPB gives Zuma painting a 16N rating

2012-06-01 09:37

Johannesburg - The Film and Publication Board has given The Spear painting a "16N" rating, it announced on Friday.

It means that children under the age of 16 should not have access to the artwork because it displays nudity.

"The FPB therefore presents to you that a classification rating of '16N' has been decided upon by the classification committee for the artwork by Brett Murray titled The Spear," it said in a statement.

"Any persons or entities wishing to publish and exhibit images and/or replicas of this specific artwork will in future have to put in place mechanisms to regulate access to this piece of art by members of the public below the age of 16."

The painting, which was vandalised last Tuesday, depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

FPB chairperson Thoko Mpumlwana said the complainant had requested the board to give the painting a rating that no one under the age of 18 should have access to it. But the board decided to give it a "16" rating.

"It might also be worth noting that the said content has evoked a mixture of emotions from diverse sections of the populace and exhibitors would be advised to be cognisant of both the manifest and latent reactions that this specific work has drawn."

  • Ian - 2012-06-01 09:42

    bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, what does N stand for, nauseating, cANCer should be given a not for persons under a 1000 rating

      Christopher - 2012-06-01 10:16

      So no child under the age of 16 can look through art books, see leonardos sketches and drawings see Michaelangelo's David... But children can watch the news, see violent rioting, murders etc... Are these guys serious?

      Max - 2012-06-01 10:17

      And I assume the same rating now applies to wild life photos as well.

      Compos - 2012-06-01 10:25

      Censorship is to art as lynching is to justice. Henry Louis Gates

      RSole - 2012-06-01 10:26

      I wonder if the Clowns at the FPB will place same rating on the statue of David or other nude sculptures. Pity there's no medical cure for stupidity.

      Nicholas.Spaggiari - 2012-06-01 11:02


      Walter - 2012-06-01 11:09

      Christopher, how right you are. The whole saga is a bloody load of colly-wobbles! Didn't know that kids under the age of 16 had never seen nude pictures, sculptures or paintings of men's genitalia! I wonder how much money has been spent protesting about this work of art whilst nothing is done regarding abuse of women and children, daily murders, rhino slaughter etc etc etc.

  • Clint - 2012-06-01 09:43

    16N?? jor then i gotta get my kids away frm cartoon network just da same

      Antipoaching - 2012-06-01 10:00

      Not to mention National Geographic which goes much further than just showing genitals....

      Compos - 2012-06-01 10:26

      “Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple's sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.” ? Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson

      sven.gohre - 2012-06-01 11:54

      @Clint, I cannot wait for the T-shirts with the "Spear" printed on the front to hit the shelves. I can just imagine all the Keystone cops of South Africa arresting all those wearing them, for exposing under 16s to such diabolical nudity, lmfao.

      Nicolaas - 2012-06-01 22:11

      @Clint, but it is not genetalia, Evita said it was a twisted koeksister and two mosbolletjies!

      Clint - 2012-06-02 06:14


  • Charles - 2012-06-01 09:44

    This is a useless article without the journo at least finding out what a 16N rating means. Pathetic journalism.

      Paul - 2012-06-01 09:50

      "N" for NOT as big as it looks in the painting!

      Erna - 2012-06-01 10:01

      Really Charles?

      wesley.nel.5 - 2012-06-01 10:04

      They said the paint show JZ tools, did he pose for the painting, if not this is not his tools

      Charles - 2012-06-01 11:10

      Yes Erna, read the rest of the comments... The City Press article, however, explains "This means that children under the age of 16 should not have access to the artwork because it displays nudity". Thumbs up for the City Press journo!

      Mewik - 2012-06-01 11:47

      I assume that the News24 cobbler couldn't find an article to ctrl c from and then ctrl v it into their story so it got left out. To refer to the spoke of cobbler as a journalist is a bit too much of a compliment for someone that only has basic keyboard training.

      JAbu.R15 - 2012-06-01 14:57

      Hi man guys 16N mean it contains nudity henc no under 16s should see it. on TV we never see penisis but they rate it at 16, i think it was supposed to be18N

  • Hermann - 2012-06-01 09:44

    16N --- one can but only laugh as the painting has been defaced.

      Sean - 2012-06-01 09:49

      Yip , agree 100%

      Erna - 2012-06-01 10:03

      Never mind defaced - what about all the art (paintings, sculptures, etc)that show full frontal nudity? No age restriction on those! Get the impression that the FPB just want in on the fun.

      SaintBruce - 2012-06-01 17:23

      I think it was pointed out that the FPB have no powers or jurisdiction when it comes to art. They went ahead anyway. Therefore - seeing they want to go down this route - they must visit every gallery, view and review every art textbook, resource and every form of rendering of such art [ print, original, scuplture, electronic etc.] and provide a classification that is published. The most silly part of this ruling is that anyone observing this artwork now - at the date of the ruling - cannot see any nudity therefore the FPB have mis-ruled and should be taken to court for making a false finding! Bottom line - the scoring of political brownie points. That's all folks!

  • thelittlegreenhouse - 2012-06-01 09:46

    But what about Michelangelo's David?

      TSR01 - 2012-06-01 09:52

      Very true! Talk about double standards, the ANC is pathetic. The painting was defaced, so the face and genitals are now covered - how can that be considered nudity?! Too many bribes paid by the ANC to "just fold hands". Corrupt ANC, wasting taxpayer's money - AGAIN!! Don't vote ANC (who go to such lengths over a PAINTING!) Vote for a better political party that won't ruin this country. (use some sense when voting)

      jacques.d.devilliers - 2012-06-01 09:57

      White willies only get a pg rating, but a black mamba can only be seen by grade 10 and up

      VWhitepaw - 2012-06-01 14:21

      Don't forget the garden shops. Now kids may not go there because it would get rated. lol eg.

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-06-01 09:47

    When will this cr@p end..

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-06-01 09:55

      Funny how much mobilising the rooling putty can do when their egos are so damanaged. But no one marches for the people who were murdered in their homes this week. pathetic banana republic

      Compos - 2012-06-01 10:27

      “Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.” ? Harry S. Truman

      theprodigy.brian - 2012-06-01 10:51

      when Zuma stops setting the wrong examples.

  • Nicholas - 2012-06-01 09:48

    We abide by our masters voice ..

  • Bryan - 2012-06-01 09:48

    P.A.T.H.E.T.I.C.......Case closed!!!

  • Jan - 2012-06-01 09:48

    As jy nou nog nie "klokke" gesien het nie, sal jy nooit in jou lewe "klokke"sien nie.

  • John - 2012-06-01 09:50

    What a load of bovine effluent! Are they going to rule on Michaelangelo's David? What will that get? What about all the other classical nude statues and paintings? These guys have just proved that FPB = F#%*ing Prudish Bastards and are irrelevant in any mdoern society. Oh, I forgot they are paid to toe the party line

      Press - 2012-06-01 16:34

      Wonder what they are going to slap on a nude Jesus on the cross . . .

  • PumaFred - 2012-06-01 09:50

    What a load of crap. U16 have never seen their dad naked?

      CharlesDumbwin - 2012-06-01 09:56

      I suppose this means every 16 and over can continue to see this painting ??? I propose that each year we have a 'paint Zuma' day. worts and all. Let's do this !!!

      Christopher - 2012-06-01 10:53

      I have my black paint ready!

      Herman - 2012-06-02 09:32

      From now on, all U16's must bath with their clothes on.

  • Loo - 2012-06-01 09:52

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA and what now ?????? What was the point of this ??

  • Christopher - 2012-06-01 09:52

    Watching the chairperson of the FPB reading her statement at this morning's press conference, I'm not sure whether to cry or laugh hysterically. My God! Have we come this far to come this far? What a bunch of stupid idiots. No idea what they're supposed to be doing. Clearly puppets 'managed' by Zuma's patsies Just like they were the Nats' patsies in the 70s and 80s. Nothing's changed. Aluta Continua!

      Neil - 2012-06-01 13:10

      The ANC Loot Continua!

  • Christopher - 2012-06-01 09:53

    The FPB have spoken: Children and 'sensitive viewers' will now be spared the 'trauma' of looking upon Zuma's face and genitalia. So it is written and so it shall be. You have been warned (finger wagging and a licking of the lips a la PW Botha) !!! And the band played on, the angels sang in chorus and, because it was so decreed by the FPB, Julius Malema became a caucasian spinster living in Brakpan. Just gotta love this country! Now remember HIDE your pictures of Zuma's "Spear" -or else!!!

  • barry.dogg.fritz - 2012-06-01 09:53

    what a waste of time and resources,this picture has been defaced ,you can no longer see the offending MEMBER, so the uncut version now has a 16 badge on it, i wonder if they are going to do the same @ tribal gatherings where women and men alike walk around semi naked,i think this is just the ANC saying they will have the last word on this issue

  • Christopher - 2012-06-01 09:54

    Ag shame, the lady chair of the Film and Publication Board, also pronounces the word "film" as "fillum" - just like the National Party censors did so many years ago. The more things change ...

      gideon.rossouw - 2012-06-01 12:26

      That sound is the svarabhahkti vowel, which you find in Dutch (but not German), in Afrikaans, not in English but it does appear in the Scottish variant of English. But linguistical variation aside, this is one of the dumbest decisions made by a governmental body in years. Censoring art in order to please the ANC and president Zuma sets a really bad precedent. It is inappropriate and in my view is an abuse of power. Which of course was the whole point of the Brett Murray exhibition!

  • Christopher - 2012-06-01 09:54

    I'm beginning to think that Mosiuoa Lekota was right to compare Jacob Zuma and the ANC to the Nazis ....

  • dave.prinsloo - 2012-06-01 09:56

    like an old dog with no teeth or vocal chords, trying to bark. Sad.

  • nishaatf - 2012-06-01 09:57

    This is a joke Right ,

  • Anton - 2012-06-01 09:57

    A bit late now,painting already fully "clothed" in black and red paint

  • Pieter - 2012-06-01 09:57

    Let's see. No nudity whatsoever in the painting. REMEMBER - IT WAS DEFACED and it gets a 16N I guess the Dove advertisement on the tv will not get a 1000N (You need to be 1000 years old to see it and yes I know that such a rating does not exist)

  • jacques.d.devilliers - 2012-06-01 09:58

    Zuma now officially a pornstar!!!

  • jp.salzwedel - 2012-06-01 09:59

    16N for such a small pp??...what's there to See?the painting has been messed up..soo?

  • eric.martinsich - 2012-06-01 10:00 These symbols will be used when an age category is placed against anyone of them. S - Sex; L - Strong Language; V - Violence; P - Prejudice; N - Nudity; B - Blasphemy

      jacques.d.devilliers - 2012-06-01 10:04

      I am actually surprised they did not classify it as B, since its obviously blasphemous

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-06-01 10:05

    How are they going to stop the under 16s seeing the picture, everyone in the world has a copy of it in its original state, and millions of kids have seen it. A bit late for the rating don't you think

  • Piston - 2012-06-01 10:08


  • jruppersberg - 2012-06-01 10:09

    What a joke! The FPB just opened a huge can of worms. We should all contact them and demand that they classify all the classic nude art. Have a look here: If not they will be subject to double standards and will lose all credibility.

      bernpm - 2012-06-01 11:36

      if they had any to begin with..

  • Dax - 2012-06-01 10:10

    because children under 16 can't use the internet... 8==o should my comment now have a 16N age-restriction?

  • MattQ4 - 2012-06-01 10:16

    16N for the Spear? That makes sense cause the "family friend" of the Zuma's was also about that age when she got to see it!!

  • Lourenzo - 2012-06-01 10:19

    Zuma is angry that Murray didnt get his penis right....then he should have posed for the painting...simple

      Nicolaas - 2012-06-01 22:19

      @Lourenzo, Jacob NOT SO REGOP could not pose, he belly too heavy, he was falling over all the tym, this why Bret could just paint what he thought he had seen!

  • joangemmell.budricks - 2012-06-01 10:19

    16N Yes! How many youngsters have babies under 16 they are allowed to have boyfriends & girlfriends ,they are allowed to smoke & drink, take drugs ,the photos & comment's they share on FB ?

      Erna - 2012-06-01 10:29

      Look at all the grade 3s that are falling pregnant! Do you think they haven't been exposed?

      bernpm - 2012-06-01 11:39

      they just "share" on FB but they do not look at the pics cause the FPB told them not to :-))

  • RiXiLe.BriLLiaNT.pRO - 2012-06-01 10:20

    I cant believe it took the FPB to see that the spear contains nudity and its not suitable for pupil under 16

  • Tugwana - 2012-06-01 10:20

    Those who have commented on this ruling as pathetic; please realise this - you are the ones that are pathetic!!! You are only worthy to parent puppies.

      Afrikanerbul - 2012-06-01 10:28

      Sorry. Sorry that we offended you by trying to protect free speech.

      Compos - 2012-06-01 10:37

      “Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.” ? Eugene O'Neill

      tasmee.hylkema - 2012-06-01 20:20

      I love puppies!! My pet is my baby, part of my family. At the same time, I also love freedom of expression, free speech, democracy, freedom from crime and corruption. I hate the ANC and whats his name they call the president though. What an embarrassment!!

  • RiXiLe.BriLLiaNT.pRO - 2012-06-01 10:21

    I cant believe it took the FPB to notice that the spear contains nudity and its not suitable for pupil under 16

  • Ganon - 2012-06-01 10:21

    'Never underestimates the power of the so-called 'stupid' black people in power' 'The lion will lie down with the lamb, but the lamb probably won't get much sleep' 'When you are arguing with an idiot try to make sure he is not doing the same thing' 'If u can't see the bright side of life, polish the dull side' Have a nice weekend, God loves u all (black or white)!!!

  • terry.burne - 2012-06-01 10:29

    You gotta give the ANC credit - they give full value for money for humour. The stupid stuff they get up to to pander to their over-inflated egos makes for a great laugh ...... where else in the world would you get this kind of stuff for free? Oh wait - it's not free! We're paying big bucks for these uneducated clowns!!!!

  • Marc - 2012-06-01 10:35

    OMG this is retarded. Are they going to give every piece of art an FPB rating from now on? No? Didn't think so.

  • Pieter890 - 2012-06-01 10:37

    How much were they paid to give this rating?

      eric.martinsich - 2012-06-01 12:12

      Film and Publications Board is part of Government. Nothing needs to be paid. Heh Heh

  • christian.helberg - 2012-06-01 10:40

    They have no jurisdiction over art....idiots. So with their reasoning, I guess the Statue of David, or Michelangelo's painting of Creation should also be censored, GET A LIFE! Why don’t they sensor all the Zulu women traditional dancing, with their breasts exposed? What next biology text books censored?

  • neo.khemisi - 2012-06-01 10:42

    Think someone on higher Constitutional or communications could take look at this platform frankly the comments that are being posted here have now gone out of hand before someone says something that's gonna plunge this beautiful country of us into civil wars cos of stupid comments and please editors just try to regulate the comments that come in here before its to late,I'm not trying to take sides here just worrid abt my BELOVED SA and those who lived in it\r\n Let's pray for SA people

  • Ditantane - 2012-06-01 10:45

    this is good news, now we can concentrate on issues that emerged through this painting. In particular tolerance, racism, freedom of speach, culture, role of the ANC, and yes the president's conduct.

  • semakaleng.thulare - 2012-06-01 10:45

    Complain, its your right, but please do something about it! Moaning here won't help you or the nation with anything. The only time we as a nation have ever won any war against the goverment was when all of us were one with one goal. If you dont now what I'm talking about just check where the Boearemag is now... If people honestly believe that ANC/goverment is not doing any good then stop blaming black people, you need them to help put a stop to the corruption and other bad things our country is going through.

  • Ayanda Junior Ntombela - 2012-06-01 10:48

    am glad it was not 16NP, there no prejudice in this work so why was ANC panicking

  • brian.j.records - 2012-06-01 10:49

    I actually do sence a victory for us all here (apart from the fact that the board is overstepping it's legal jurisdiction): This "artwork" was rated 16 for aparent nudity and NOT for prejudice. Now as far as I recall, all these marches and all the anger was based on the aparent prejudice perceived. The board has now effectively ruled that this painting is not prejudicial towards black people... So there goes that argument... I am just wondering if all artwork must now first be screened by the board before it can be viewed?

  • theprodigy.brian - 2012-06-01 10:50

    that good, then the ANC will not be able to view it, they behave like they are children.

  • Natalie Mclean - 2012-06-01 10:50 bored with this whole saga! Aren't there more important things to be reporting about??

  • Pieter890 - 2012-06-01 10:51

    Section 22(3) of the Film and Publications Act: (3) A newspaper published, and a poster of a newspaper issued as an advertisement of any newspaper, by a publisher who is a member of the Newspaper Press Union of South Africa, shall not be subject to the provisions of this Act.

  • christie.toni - 2012-06-01 10:52

    Hell's teeth, should we inform Michelangelo that his art is for viewing by adults only????

  • theprodigy.brian - 2012-06-01 10:53

    should be 16NVLSCI

  • jaha1988 - 2012-06-01 10:55

    I just checked the wikipedia page of The Spear. Uncensored. Will wikipedia also get an age restriction now?