Graphic painting of Zuma an insult to SA - Edward Zuma

2015-10-27 21:59
(Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

(Elizabeth Sejake, City Press)

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's son Edward on Tuesday come out and described an explicit painting in which his father's genitals are depicted as an insult to his family and to the country.

"It is true that this country is facing many challenges, but to say our father is raping and molesting the country is not only an insult to us as the family but to the whole country," Edward Zuma said in a statement.

This was in response to artist Ayanda Mabulu's painting called The Pornography of Power.

The 33-year-old artist said the painting was based on what was happening in society.

"I am talking about being fucked. We are being fucked by parliamentarians, we are being molested," he said.

In the painting, Zuma is seen holding a teddy bear behind his back. Mabulu said the bear signified the age of the child - South Africa's young democracy.

Also in the picture was a child. The child was being raped, and had a saddle on her which symbolised slavery. The child was also being tamed so that it can be of use to the economy, Mabulu said.

One can see the child also being violated from behind by a hyena, which symbolises mining and commercial giants. The child's breasts are milked. The milk runs into a can with the ANC's logo on it. The American and British colonial-era clothes, worn by the Hyena, are intended to show that power is still in the hands of people in power before apartheid, Mabulu has explained.

Mabulu has described Zuma as "taking pleasure at the same time, laughing like a hyena".

Edward said Mabulu's explanation of the painting as making a political statement was "mind boggling" and should be condemned by all South Africans.

"My message to Ayanda Mabulu is that President Jacob Zuma is a parent and one is prepared to even defend him physically if need be," Edward Zuma said.

He said he felt compelled to respond to the artist after receiving calls and messages of concern from family members, relatives, friends and ordinary members of society after the painting was made public.

"Over the past three years, as the family we have endured humiliation that cannot be described as result of pornographic material aimed at tarnishing the image of my father and the president of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa," Edward Zuma said.

He said his family failed to understand why the media was allowed to publish such images, which were not for public consumption.

"Having nude photos of our parent published in the newspapers under the guise of the Freedom of Speech is the worst form of the abuse of democracy that many of our leaders fought so hard to achieve," he said.

Mabulu, who is based at the Bag Factory artist studios in Johannesburg, is not the first to depict the president's genitals as social commentary.

Artist Brett Murray's The Spear had paint thrown at it, and was the subject of an urgent court application by the ANC, which was outraged by it.

It sparked a call by some in the ANC to boycott City Press. The newspaper published a picture of it in May 2012, but subsequently took it off its website.

Read more on:    edward zuma  |  jacob zuma  |  zuma painting

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