Film board declassifies The Spear

2012-10-10 18:56

Johannesburg - The Film and Publication Board (FPB) on Wednesday declassified the controversial painting The Spear, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

The board's spokesperson, Prince Mlimandlela Ndamase, said that artist Brett Murray's painting - which outraged supporters of President Zuma when it was displayed early this year at Johannesburg's Goodman Gallery - is no longer deemed an offense to public taste.

The gallery had appealed the FPB's 16N rating.

The painting was condemned by the African national Congress and Zuma himself said in court documents that the artwork ridiculed him and undermined his constitutional right to dignity.

But the gallery and the artist countered that freedom of expression was at stake, too.

The painting was later taken down after two men defaced it with paint, claiming they were acting to defend Zuma.

  • zipho500 - 2012-10-10 19:09

    Sanity has finally prevailed,or has it????

      sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-10-10 19:28

      @ Tsotsi Get over yourself. Those who work hard get rewarded. There are many many black people who used the opportunities created when apartheid ended and have excelled. I gather you are not one of them, you seem to prefer sitting on your own dung-heap and blame everyone else. Ag shame, poor poor tsotsi, at least you know how to copy and paste, that's something I suppose.

      emilyjane.elson - 2012-10-10 19:57

      Sharon is right.. Many DID take the opportunity to better their lives, some didn't. There is also a huge difference between whites money wise. Most of us also struggle month to month despite what you think. What is wrong with becoming a 1st World Country?? Who wants to be backward? Why if we can move forward must we stay 3rd World? I know that there are a lot of people who struggle hut the only way you you get to the top is by working for it. Even if its given to you you're going to have to work to keep it, or you'll lose it..

      mike.down.5492 - 2012-10-10 19:58

      He's a regular troll here but how does he register so many names?

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-10 19:59

      @ tsotsibaby Stop lying.

      crracker.crackerr - 2012-10-10 20:07

      Tsotsibaby is a little guy.

      mlungisi.mwelase.9 - 2012-10-10 20:18


      godfrey.welman - 2012-10-10 20:36

      @tsotsi...the fact that you still think like this is prove of how the ANC has failed to reconsiled SA. - 2012-10-11 12:34

      Sanity never prevails!!! TIA

  • koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-10-10 19:12

    Don’t know what all the fuss is about. Is not as if children haven’t seen some guy whip it out next to the road and start urinating on whatever he can find to aim at. Not as if the painting is a lie or a misconception or even a misrepresentation. Anyway, love the blackened face with the red cross.... so... communist.

  • bongani.nsele.58 - 2012-10-10 19:13

    deemed as not offensive...but they are not telling us on whose standard is deemed not offensive...european standards are not universal standards

      ndlovuvincent - 2012-10-10 19:49

      Good point Bongani.I have a problem with the painting as it undermines the african culture.The african culture does not revolve around Zuma per se but it was there even before his birth.It is also a pitty that it is this ANC that was proactive in the drafting of the constitution but today they are a laughing stock.

      geronimo.feather - 2012-10-10 20:13

      Bongs...maybe you need to remove your kulsha from the dark ages and enlighten yourself? Modernise yourself my man.

      geronimo.feather - 2012-10-10 21:06

      Kenny.... it's an ARTIST'S IMPRESSION of the prez's schlong... it's not a photo of the real thing... Zoomer didn't pose for the painting... IT'S NOT REAL! It's art. What's to be offended about?

      christopher.shining - 2012-10-10 21:32

      It was the SOUTH AFRICAN film and publication board, and NOT I reapeat NOT the European film and publication board.

      deon.louw.7505 - 2012-11-12 10:53

      The film board has been transformed a long time ago.

  • carla.vittori3 - 2012-10-10 19:14

    Pathetic that it was ever classified in the first place.

      press.enter.12 - 2012-10-11 00:03

      "The Film and Publication Board (FPB) on Wednesday declassified the controversial painting The Spear" They cant review their own decision - they are functus officio in the matter - they have to go to court and argue why they want their decision set aside . . . . .

  • Vince.York - 2012-10-10 19:16

    This is what happens when news investigators and journalists written or otherwise "transform" themselves into musical chair couch potato's hanging onto every lisp or grunted utterance from politicians and nothing else! If the media paid a fraction of attention to what THE PEOPLE, THE VERY CITIZENS of South Africa said and feel we would never hear any of the violent political trash spewed out on us constantly these days for two decades, neither from the misguided unions and the other alliances from hell. But easy money is like cadre deployment - just invite yourself to any political get together and write in bursts of 140 characters then fetch the pay cheque

  • sharon.erwin.96 - 2012-10-10 19:17

    They should rename it as well. "The spear" is now "The smudge".

  • thabang.bonang.7 - 2012-10-10 19:20

    Zuma was perceived as a victim before Polokwane when Mbeki took him out. He therefore received many sympathetic votes. If this painting is returned it will give Zuma an advantage of being perceived as a victim again and therefore qualify for sympathetic votes by ANC members.

      clarence.esau - 2012-10-10 19:34

      This is So true. we love victims. look at all the support Julius Malema is getting playing the victim to the ANCYL...

  • peter.mansfield.395 - 2012-10-10 19:37


  • popeye.sailor.1884 - 2012-10-10 19:42

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

      kimard - 2012-10-10 21:04

      lmao @ popeye!!

  • davy.botha - 2012-10-10 19:45

    Just part of the circus called Zuma, the joke

  • charles.kubhayi.9 - 2012-10-10 19:46

    Maybe the constitutional court must clarify whether the freedom of expression supersede the dignity of an individual, and I doubt this will go to a point where capitalists won the freedom of business which supersede the freedom of human beings thus the exploitation we are facing.

      frankflower - 2012-10-10 21:52

      You use such beautiful English, you make no spelling errors and still... STILL, you sound like a complete idiot!!! How is that possible?

  • geronimo.feather - 2012-10-10 20:06

    "The Film and Publication Board (FPB) on Wednesday declassified the controversial painting The Spear, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed." PLEASE get it right. "...Jacob Zuma with AN ARTIST'S IMPRESSION OF his genitals exposed." Zuma didn't pose naked for the painting.

      geronimo.feather - 2012-10-10 20:18 artist's impression... it's not even his real schlong...why are some people so "offended" by something that isn't real?...

  • ranase - 2012-10-10 20:11

    brett must be the creepy kid in primary school who drew d**ks he saw at the urinal onto the desks...

      mike.down.5492 - 2012-10-10 20:24

      Yep, the same one's you were playing with.

  • klip.indiebos - 2012-10-10 20:23

    Eventually reality and sanity catches up! The FPB had to retract after overstepping the mark and before they get caught with egg on the face. What a waste of time and money.

  • Brian Dorning - 2012-10-10 20:38

    Helen Z's comment on her 'painting' that was painted by an ANC employed artist: looks like i need to attend a few more spinning lessons

      lerato.kay.3 - 2012-10-11 06:26

      Because of people like you DA will die a minority party

  • rofhiwa.ronald.1 - 2012-10-10 20:49

    Guys pls give showerhead a break

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-10 21:05

    Truth of the matter is in South Africa we have a n ANC government that represents the blacks and nothing that really represents the Whites in this country,except maybe the promise of the DA.The DA though will end up a black party if it hopes to win at the polls one day so that begs the question who will represent the whites!Here lies the problem ,without political expression the whites will always be side lined blamed for all the ills that face this country!Even a painting by an artist that had some white political expression behind it was shot down by the Black ANC!This country will always be divided between black and white two different people who will always find a reason to despise each 1994 we simply placated the blacks by giving them political power over us but the real root cause of our differences will never be addressed or cured!

  • deus.exmachina.58367 - 2012-10-11 02:53

    Fascinating that a painting could elicit so much comment. I mean, people are dying on the side of the road, corruption is destroying the country, but hey - let us ponder the classification of a painting. Let Rome burn baby, let it burn!

  • brionyl.french - 2012-10-11 07:05

    How could they when the black painters painting wasnt... RACIST

  • tyrone.hunt85 - 2012-12-14 13:02


  • annie.israel.50 - 2012-12-14 13:21

    Excellent news - ZUMA should realize that he is not as popular than he think he is - MY FRIDAY IS DEFINITELY A GOOD FRIDAY - may this happen often - THIS MONSTER IS A DISGRACE TO SOUTH AFRICA AND THE OUTSIDE WORLD

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