Haffajee: Newspaper will take down Spear

2012-05-28 08:38

Cape Town - City Press editor, Ferial Haffajee, said that the newspaper would likely remove the image of The Spear from its website following a meeting with ANC representatives.
Representatives from the ANC met with City Press’s editorial staff on Friday and a meeting with SACP members is scheduled for on Monday.

“This whole controversy has taken an enormous toll on me and my staff over the past week,” said Haffajee.

She also told The Times newspaper that City Press would remove the image from its website because it was not worth "what we are going through".

Haffajee said City Press reporters had even received death threats.

"I would be stupid and suicidal not to open a series of talks this week because it has been a painful week for my colleagues. I had a colleague thrown out of the NUM congress. It is a political year, I cannot afford to be on the margins of reporting life," she told The Times.

The newspaper editor on Sunday apologised to Zuma’s daughter for the “harm” caused by its republication of The Spear.

In an open letter addressed to Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, Haffajee said that she understood the pain that Brett Murray’s portrait of the president had caused to her family.

“(W)hat is a work of satire to me is a portrait of pain to you. I understand the impact on your little brothers and sisters, who may face teasing at school. Playground cruelty leaves deep scars,” wrote Haffajee.

Last week, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu and SACP president Blade Nzimande called on their supporters to boycott City Press.

  • tobydt - 2012-05-28 08:42

    "Haffajee said City Press reporters had even received death threats." Death threats should be reported to the police. Intimidation and death threats is not something that is allowed in a free society. Dont cave to pressure from Jacob and his sheep.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-05-28 08:59

      In a free society newspapers like City Press wouldn't exist.

      thabo.manganye - 2012-05-28 09:06

      Sinu, would you be condoning the same piece of art had it been your grandfather . people lets not go around advertising our stupidity to the world. sis man

      tobydt - 2012-05-28 09:21

      thabo - If my grandfather was president, then I would accept that he is open to ridicule from the public of South Africa. If Zuma doesnt like it, then he must resign as president.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-28 09:22

      @thabo, if my grandfather acted the way JZ is, then I would not have a problem if an artist depicted him like that... Just saying. Instead of raising the issues of the artist it's easier to deflect.

      tobydt - 2012-05-28 09:23

      obomnaija - "Mugaberization of SA" That is exactly why people should stick to their guns. If city press and its journalists are receiving death threats, then the government should do what it afforded Julius in the same case. Give them government sponsored bodyguards.

      tobydt - 2012-05-28 09:29

      thabo - What about people calling Lindiwe a "tea girl"? Is that not disrespectful to black people? Does it not tear open old apartheid wounds?

      Azande - 2012-05-28 09:33

      @sinudeity, its easy to say that because you are far away from the fire. if you were in her shoes, I'm sure you would have already removed the painting. let's be frank, politicians can be ruthless and merciless. when it comes to threats, family comes first, stuff the rights and your job. so please dont fool Haffajee.

      tobydt - 2012-05-28 09:36

      Azande - I do see the merit in your argument. And yes, if I were in her shoes, perhaps I would act differently. Wa Afrika didnt. He stuck to his guns, even though he received death threats, and his phone was tapped. And look what is happening to Cele.

      jacobus.hendrikse - 2012-05-28 09:46

      Folding to political pressure discredits your City Press 100%. NOW I will boycott your paper. Pity. You were a lonely candle in a very dark room there for a moment. "Sigh"

      ivan.frantz.3 - 2012-05-28 10:09

      . . . . and so City Press takes down The Spear, meanwhile, the rest of the world is still sitting with it on their PCs and on the Internet, so whats the point ?

      Azande - 2012-05-28 10:18

      @ivan, the point is clear. "when i say jump, you jump". sad but that's what i'm gathering from the whole thing. I condemned the painting as anti-african and disrepsectful but the turn of events has brought another reality, ANC can kill to make their wish realised. Is that right, NO its not. That reminds me of the article from ANCYL yesterday that ANC is intimidating and bullying everyone who differs with their views. They cited "Pikoli forced resignation". Its now becoming tough.

      thabo.manganye - 2012-05-28 10:56

      i am abn african and in my culture i was taught to respect my elders. when they make mistakes i sit down with them and we find common groung, i dont go around telling the community how dull they are.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 11:27

      I lived with death threats for many years and never knew if a letter or parcel was going to blow up in my face. Imagine if we had all stopped struggling after the first death threat. Imagine if Nelson Mandela stopped after his first death thread.

      rowen.loretz - 2012-05-28 12:09

      @ Omonaija - if this is the way you want it then give back your clothes, your fancy watch, shoes, care, house, electricity, food, medicine ect. This belongs to the west! Africans want to live like the west and live by their ideologies too, not just african style. We are part of the global community. If you don't want it then go live in some tribal villiage!

      rowen.loretz - 2012-05-28 12:10

      I mean your car...and KFC too

      rowen.loretz - 2012-05-28 12:39

      You cant have the best of both world's The ANC made a fuss about the painting for nothing. They should just have ignored it, but the WANT to start an argument. The painting was not racist at all, besides....if Zuma were to follow his traditional ways he would not wear clothes anyways...african style !

      Omo - 2012-05-28 14:12

      Taking down the painting is the right thing to do.All it has done is to further polarize the country and gain more voters for the ANC.Before this painting saga zuma was hanging by a thread on the way to manguang but now he has rock solid backing. This is Africa ,the way we do things are different from the way you do things in west.If you want to get rid of someone in Africa you must behave like a "fool" so that he does not get a chance to counter your move.This is different from the western way of doing thing where people attack their opponents head on like "rambo" without any strategy. Another issue is the "Mugaberization of SA".If caution is not taken and people continue to provoke zuma ,he may just turn into a monster like mugabe and that won't end well.Stop teasing the ANC and giving them "comeback" ammunition.Instead deal them a death blow at the elections.SA caucasians in particular need to control their tempter and focus on the "game",that is the only way success can achieved.It is just like chess ,you can not win if you do not plan your moves ahead. Zuma is a skillful politician whether you like to admit it or not ,he uses his charisma and calm looks to fool his followers.His opponents have to use the same technique if they want to oust him otherwise he will gain more sympathy and more votes.Like i said earlier ,this is Africa and this is how you get things done.

      Omo - 2012-05-28 14:25

      @EKbliksemvirjou...My people (Yorubas) had clothes,horses,shoes,bamboo bags,farms,food,oil lamps,native education,native medicine,native houses,native government way before westerners landed on African soil,so what are you on about? I don't eat KFC or western food because they taste yacky and are unorganic.I eat my native cuisine which consists of organic ingridents ,egusi ,ogbono ,ewedu ,amala,iyan, eba e.t.c Google it and you know what Yoruba food is like.Don't assume that you know everything about Africans or that westerners are some sort of saviours.Educate yourself about the African continent and you won't have to make ignorant comments like that.

      rowen.loretz - 2012-05-29 22:24

      @ omonaija - we can all live in peace we respect each other and have tolerance. My views may be wrong , but i don't see why the ANC had to make a big fuss about this painting. Zuma is corrupt and needs to go. We need a two presidents in this country - a white and a black man - or just bring Mandela back because he fought for the freedom of speach and democracy that the ANC now want to turn around.

  • sharon.truebodyvice - 2012-05-28 08:44

    Where is the Freedom of Press in this country????, It is a disgrace that reporters received death threats ......the painting and picture should stay up

      thabo.manganye - 2012-05-28 09:09

      freedom of press my ass. our culture comes first and democrazy after. we africans and we have a way of doing things morally.

      Junebugg - 2012-05-28 09:15

      Lmao Thabo lol hahaahhaahah Thats true though

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-28 09:22

      thabo, culture comes first?? LOL!! Suure, ok.

      Azande - 2012-05-28 09:35

      @shanna, its sad but hey the painting have to be removed.

      Junebugg - 2012-05-28 09:36

      Minister how does our culture swing from African to American when it suits us?? or you just making assumption?

      Junebugg - 2012-05-28 10:01

      Mister please answer..I will correct you where you are wrong and applaud you where you are right

      rowen.loretz - 2012-05-28 12:11

      @ Thabo. then give back all the stuff the west gave you and go live in some far away tribe where there is no media!

      Junebugg - 2012-05-28 15:33

      @EKbliksemvirjou why dont you start and go back wherever you came???

  • Kala - 2012-05-28 08:44

    Good on you Haffajee for keeping it up there for as long as you did. Unfortunately the freedom of expression is dying a rather quick death by those who believe it's either the ANC way or death, boycotts or marches.

      Anthea - 2012-05-28 08:56

      I agree, time to let go Ferial, you have made your point. You have exposed the ANC and their followers for the thugs they are, threatening violence when they don't get their own way.

  • Gerhard - 2012-05-28 08:44

    I think it's the right thing to do. They have put the image out there, everyone has seen it, it's been added onto numerous other websites already. Take it down and the ANC no longer has a reason to boycott the paper. So the ANC is happy, City Press has achieved its objectives. Not that I am a big fan of the ANC but it's a win, win situation for everyone. I don't see this as City Press giving in to government demands.

      Kala - 2012-05-28 08:54

      Exactly Gerhard. City Press has more than made their point. The fact that the whole world knows about the painting is testament to that. With all the controvesy surrounding the art work I wonder what it is potentially worth now.

  • Andre - 2012-05-28 08:48

    To the ANC, "Democracy" is only a word in a dictionary, nothing more.

      thabo.manganye - 2012-05-28 09:12

      and to you democracy is publishing a picture of the countries president( father and husband) naked and nothing more.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-28 09:24

      @thabo, democracy means that someone CAN paint a picture of the president naked and MANY people SEE it DIFFERENTLY and can DEBATE the merit of such a work of ART... You will understand democracy one day.

      monkinsane - 2012-05-28 09:24

      Thabo, go and research what democracy is, since you clearly do not have a clue. What the ANC is doing is censorship, just like the old National Party pre-94. It is not democratic at all to censor something just because you do not agree with it. If the president was unhappy about the picture, he should have done what any other citizen would have done, and that is sue Citi Press and the Artist. Censorship is wrong, no matter what the excuse. And since I know you will probably reply with "what if it was a paining of my father etc...." If it was I would sue.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 11:34

      Thabo, democracy is allowing people like you to write nonsense here.Zuma is fully dressed in that painting, your assumption that he was naked is proof you haven't seen it.

  • keith.recore - 2012-05-28 08:52

    As with all publishing of potential "controversial" photos, whether it be crime scenes, bodily injury, "art", the editorial boards go through discussion whether to print photos or not. I hope the ability to do this and have free expression has not been comprimised but that the process has been reviewed and the tenants of a free press cemented into the publication. This is not the first nor the last for any newspaper to go through. Time will provide the analysis of the impact, whether negative or positive. A good discussion for journalism class (if there are still any left).

  • i2meleng - 2012-05-28 08:54

    To protect your staff, I agree with you 100% Ferial, you'll never know (you know who) what they might do to them.

      Azande - 2012-05-28 09:38

      and they can be ruthless...she must just remove the damn painting.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-28 11:40

      Glad you both admit that the ANC are thugs.

      i2meleng - 2012-05-28 13:37

      @ PointBlank of course they are, I don't agree or favour them in anyway. The safety of Ferial's staff comes first.

  • Hermann - 2012-05-28 08:55

    An act of reconciliation and to be complimented. Now let us see the ANC bring about an act reconciliation by scrapping the job reservation laws and BEE. At least there is no VAT on wishful thinking.

  • Mummy - 2012-05-28 08:57

    George Orwell's 1984 comes to mind quite often nowadays

      Susan - 2012-05-28 09:02

      Not only that, but Animal Farm too...

  • Anakin - 2012-05-28 08:58

    Who cares anymore about that stupid painting?? Zuma must move on to the next issue that's important: schools under trees...I want to see Zuma personally visit the schools pictured in the Sunday Times yesterday, to explain to the whole South-Africa why it's STILL happening: >> Go Zuma, go fix the school problems there and show us that the ANC actually cares about their own people. By next Sunday we want to see temporary school structures there, with temporary ablution facilities, instead of schools under trees: give it the same attention as the painting, make it THIS week's priority, or must the Sunday Times re-publish those pictures next Sunday (3 June 2012) until something happens? It's child-protection week, so DO SOMETHING about it.

  • guyt1 - 2012-05-28 09:06

    The ANC and JZ should get over themselves ...

  • Tugwana - 2012-05-28 09:07

    I don't support ppl who go on to distributge pornographic material under the guise of artwork and freedom of expression. Haffajee brought this onto herself and the shareholders must consider terminating her services. She has compromised the City Press brand negatively and will continue to cost its sustainability dearly. Her continued refusal to remove the distateful pic means that she supports pornographic material & worse still she sought to degrade the dignity of sane men. As much as she means well to expose corruption in goverment (I support her on that) but her rationale to publish such a distasteful image & be stubborn on heeding noble calls to remove it was a wrong decision she'll live to regret. She must refrain from advancing her own personal ambitions through City Press. It remains to be seen if those News24 patronisers will still support her materially if she becomes jobless.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-05-28 09:26

      What a load of rubbish... This is obviously YOUR opinion, not fact.

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 11:45

      Tugwana, you don't believe in democracy and freedom of expression then?. If that falls away, you won't be able to share your views here. Remember that.

  • Bryan - 2012-05-28 09:08

    Bowing to intimidation and threats.... While i understand the fear, this type of behaviour should not be tolerated! Typical of the 'Áfrican'way... threaten with death or bodily harm if you dont like something.... Sickening!!!

      Kagiso Spat Truthtell - 2012-05-28 09:42

      She's a lying bit*h there haven't been any death threats...she saw stats that circulation dropped significantly...surely she cant let her paper shutdown coz of arrogance...she's not as stupid as u boere

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 11:46

      Kagiso, there is no plaster big enough to fit your wound.

  • shandukane.moshatana - 2012-05-28 09:20

    Shame on you,why remove it when it has done damage.....

  • Jaco - 2012-05-28 09:20

    I bought City Press for the first time to support them... what a mistake! You've let us down Haffajee, by bowing to the pressure. You should have done it on the first day, then we wouldn't believe that you were the first to stand up to the pressure.

      shandukane.moshatana - 2012-05-28 13:24

      she cant here you bro she is ashamed of herself.

  • Gerald Jordaan - 2012-05-28 09:21

    PECKERSPEAR lives on in mind and microchip despite ANC bullying and coercion!! Brain triumphed over brawn yet again despite all the ugliness!!

  • Azande - 2012-05-28 09:28

    Remove the painting, its really not worth the troubles and ruining future prospects of free reporting. However, this should be a sad moment for the south africans, if the media can be controlled on what and what not to report, we are finished as a citizens. fat cats are going to play with us.

      Mtshezi Yonk'insipho Iyawasha Mkhize - 2012-05-28 10:23

      Are u saying the painting shouldn't be removed? I get the point u making bout how such a decision may potentially threaten the freedom of the press (Which should never override the right to dignity) But also it's not clear whether u are saying the painting should or should not be removed....

      Mtshezi Yonk'insipho Iyawasha Mkhize - 2012-05-28 10:38

      Are u saying it should be removed on other grounds other than moral grounds?

      Azande - 2012-05-28 10:42

      @mtshezi, I wanted the painting to be removed. However, the way it has been forced down, death threats in the process, when there are a legal ways that can be followed to remove it ie court, i am becoming worried about the way ANC is doing things, now I'm looking at the future.

  • dekkeranton - 2012-05-28 09:28

    Put on your funeral clothes, we have just seen the death of free speech. The insane pressure that Miss Haffajee and her staff have been under makes her decision a logical one. The bullying from the ANC and has been relentless. Unfortunately, it also proves that one of the very hard fought freedoms we thought we achieved in the “new’ South Africa is just a dream. Freedom of expression has just been murdered. How long will it take the politicians to destroy all the freedoms and rights stipulated in “the Bill of Rights”? Beware South Africa, the Mugabe syndrome is lurking ominously on the horizon!

      Jacqui - 2012-05-28 11:48

      Dekkeranton, yes, this is the beginning of the death of free speech. My heart cries.

      Justin - 2012-05-28 20:32

      Then go back to Europe, that is if they really want you there. I got a sneaky feeling they dont. This is Africa for Africans, and for your information, Robert Mugabe is an African. Do yourself a favor and get this in your white head, "THERE WILL NEVER BE A WHITE GOVERMENT AGAIN IN AFRICA!" Never never never, the sooner you accept this.. the sooner you can go to Australia. I accepted it a long time ago.

      dekkeranton - 2012-05-29 08:15

      Shame Justin, you sad little pathetic racist! Why all the anger and despicable bitterness directed at anyone who might have a different viewpoint than yours. Please go and read the Freedom Charter, The ANC’s constitution, and the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Then you might realise that all, except you, agree that this land belongs to all who live in it. I am an African, as much as you are, and our ancestry does not dictate our level of patriotism. It is racist sycophantic rages like yours that harm our country more than anything else. Go and learn what the word democracy means, before you enter a debate you clearly are not capable of sustaining. Bad politicians and leaders are bad politicians and leader, disregarding their ethnic origin, whether in Africa, South America, Asia, or where ever. Once the basic building block of a free society is eroded, and the door is opened for autocratic rule, it is a fast downhill slide to oblivion.

  • seymore.butt - 2012-05-28 09:40

    "I would be stupid and suicidal not to open a series of talks this week because it has been a painful week for my colleagues. I had a colleague thrown out of the NUM congress. It is a political year, I cannot afford to be on the margins of reporting life," she told The Times. [sic] This is the statement that worries me the most! This hurts the core of "ideals" of free reporting and standing for the truth. Next we will hear there is no more coverage of wars as journalists get killed. If you can't handle the heat don't be a journalist! The statement above from the editor clearly shows their legion is to profits and not "freedom of speech".

      Azande - 2012-05-28 09:43

      journalists are human beings. family comes first.

  • West - 2012-05-28 09:40

    It`s a sad day in SA when artists and newspapers can or cannot display their art or news without the approval of the anc. It really reflects on the anc and not on the artist or newspaper. The anc of course see only "victory" for themselves based on their own (lack of) morality. The hollowness of it remains invisible to them. Imagine how much worse it can get if and when the info bill comes into play as envisioned. The anc are palpably irresponsible, this being the bedrock of their existence. Little do they know that with power comes some, in their case and more in other cases, responsibility. Blinded as they are by their continual labouring under the misapprehension of their own self importance. As wrong as it is for City Press to bow to the pressure it`s a wise decision in South Africa as these people know their responsibility lies with their families etc. as the consequences could be life threatening. So help me, reading the news in South Africa is more entertaining than anything on TV.

  • Michele - 2012-05-28 10:05

    I want to know how well the City Press boycott was supported. My guess is Sunday was their biggest day ever in sales. Anyone got any info on it?

  • Antipoaching - 2012-05-28 10:08

    Haffajee has just taken a huge dive in my estimations. I viewed her as a courageous, ethical take no nonsense editor...... now she's just a lapdog. What happened to the editors cut from the Donald Woods cloth? Who stood up for waht was right and consequences be damned! I think I may have bought my last City Press yesterday

      Justin - 2012-05-28 20:41

      Antipoaching, City Press is a business which wants newspaper sales and profits. when shareholders are losing money, they dont care how courageous or ethical you may deem yourself to be, she was threatened with dismissal by the ultimate shareholders. Money Money Money.

  • christian.l.nair - 2012-05-28 10:13

    The very same double standards and corruption that media constantly portray of Government is practiced equally by themselves. Haffeejee is not driven by freedom of expression but ratings which drive profit. By the token of the contents of her own retraction - her behaviour and further justification of it exemplifies the highest level of irresponsibility. Media typical call for heads when they expose such mismanagement in Government - should that not be the call here? Surely your assumed "right" to conveniently interpret "freedom of expression" at the expense of a person and his families dignity should also be afforded to those who in the name of "freedom of expression" are aleged to be violating the safety of you and your colleagues. Is your provoked violation any different from their reactionary violation? To all commentators: - 1. Play the ball (no pun intended) not the man. We have family and kids and even if we commit the most heinous of indiscretions ... we would not like for our loved ones to be shamed or embarrassed like this! This is downright inhumane. 2. I have been following these posts and I witnessed all soughts of negativity. Our so-called democracy affords us the opportunity to install and uninstall governments.Rather do something constructive and win over with influence more people and make it count at the polls. 1 road, 1 ward, 1 district, 1 city, 1 province - at a time. This is the ONLY solution if we ever have a hope of fixing the problems... Out.

      Kagiso Spat Truthtell - 2012-05-28 10:23

      well said man...thanks for being a fair judge and not taking any sides, we need more ppl lyk u in SA in order to drive this country forward and unite us, u deserve a bells!!

      Justin - 2012-05-28 20:37

      very Good Christian. At least for a change someone is not spewing racist mumbo jumbo thats gonna get them killed one day. You very level headed. Christian for president!

  • Jacqui - 2012-05-28 11:19

    Haffajee, so you let the ANC win?.

  • HugoMabasa - 2012-05-28 11:56

    Hehehe,he who has the last laugh,laughs last,laughs long

      Sekalf - 2012-05-28 13:36

      yes, the whole world is still laughing about Zuma 'The Spear'

  • Nqabeni - 2012-05-28 12:07

    City Press should not expect sympathy

  • pages:
  • 1