Zuma painting - gallery won't be dictated to

2012-05-21 18:00

Johannesburg - The owner of the Goodman Gallery, where Brett Murray’s controversial art work The Spear is on display, says her gallery cannot be a "gallery of integrity" if she allows "any individual, even the most powerful" to dictate its content, City Press reports

In her affidavit before the South Gauteng High Court, Liza Essers also speaks of her "amazement” at the fact that since the controversy surrounding the painting began on Thursday, so many people, both within South Africa and abroad, have seen images of the artwork.

President Jacob Zuma and the ANC have launched an urgent application to obtain a court order against the Goodman Gallery and City Press for the removal of the painting, The Spear, which is part of Murray’s exhibition, titled Hail to the Thief II.

The painting depicts an image of Zuma with his genitals hanging out of his trousers.

The exhibition was reviewed in the City Press' lifestyle section, Seven, two weeks ago, and an image of The Spear was published on its website.

Zuma and the ANC want the image deleted from the website.

In court papers, Zuma says that he was “shocked and felt personally violated” when he saw the piece which he says depicts him as a “philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect.”

The case will most likely be heard on Wednesday before Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane.

  • Zamani.nkosi - 2012-05-21 16:07


      espanyol.mpumi - 2012-05-21 18:29

      The day he creates jobs & gives back to the poor South Africans will be the day we forget about the picture. As things stand they must leave the picture there.

      siyadyosiba - 2012-05-21 18:51

      @tsotsi, i wont go there sorry.

      piet.strydom - 2012-05-21 19:07

      @Kedibone - The point is that it is a depiction of the public perception of Zuma, it is not just somebody smoking weed on an anthill somewhere. Zuma created the image with all his illegitimate children, his extra-marital affairs, his rape charge, his multiple wives. Add on to that the way he came to the presidency - by having corruption charges, that has already been proven in court once - dropped.... The painting is unfortunately not far from reality. He has made the office of SA president the laughing stock of the world.

      Andrew - 2012-05-21 19:35

      I'm reminded of this joke....A couple attending an art exhibition at the National Gallery were staring at a portrait that had them completely confused. The painting depicted three very black and totally naked men sitting on a park bench. Two of the figures had black penises, but the one in the middle had a pink penis. The curator of the gallery realized that they were having trouble interpreting the painting and offered his assessment. He went on for nearly half an hour explaining how it depicted the sexual emasculation of African-Americans in a predominately white, patriarchal society. "In fact," he pointed out, "some serious critics believe that the pink penis also reflects the cultural and sociological oppression experienced by gay men in contemporary society." After the curator left, a Scotsman approached the couple and said, "Would you like to know what the painting is really about?" "Now why would you claim to be more of an expert than the curator of the gallery?" asked the couple. "Because I'm the guy who painted it," he replied. "In fact, there's no African-Americans depicted at all. They're just three Scottish coal-miners. The only difference is that the guy in the middle went home for lunch."

      John - 2012-05-21 19:53

      "Genitals hanging out"....... We are coming more and more descriptive in this matter. When can we have a sworn affidavit from one of his wife’s if that’s Msholozi or not? I think is about time for eye-witness testimony.

      jomardl - 2012-05-21 20:13

      Eish, no wonder they have done such a poor job of ending unemployment - then nobody will turn up to support their mob rule intimidation tactics on a Tuesday afternoon.

      chilli.stephenson1 - 2012-05-22 09:26

      @Andrew... Bwhahahaha. Crazy Scotsman! hahaha Good one.

      piet.strydom - 2012-05-22 15:24

      @John ; (un)fortunately we have many more witnesses than just his wifes....

  • Lizwe - 2012-05-21 17:44

    Anything that seem to be questioning the president in whatever form it is presented, unfortunately receives negative responses and horrible life threatening comments in South Africa. The president is so uncritisizable and close to Kings he is beyond reproach. If a man respect his children and family, that man would find it hard embarrassing his family. And if that same man is given a duty to uplift and promote dignity and morals in his country but only embarrasses himself by doing things that today are a taboo to talk about. Things we cannot say where done and said by the same man, then that man has no respect for himself, his family and his country. Which is why people will reflect negatively to the man, because he has only sorounded himself with negative atmospheres. I feel disrespected everytime I hear news which are not in consistent with the honour I bequeath to a man. Should we as South African be overdosed with integrity and honour from a man we all love and wish to respect, we would without a dought repay that man with excessive love, respect, integrity and honour he deserves.

      Frank - 2012-05-21 19:19

      Spot on! If you want to live like a pig, your are going be seen as a pig! On another note, this just might be another ploy of Zoomer to stuff his pockets with yet another lawsuit. His unsustainable lifestyle will be eating away at millions no matter how much he steals and this would be a nice addition for his retirement. It all (once again) boils down to money and his feigned outrage is really pathetic!

  • Vusi - 2012-05-21 18:22

    Well lets leave it to the courts but Madame you don't have respect...anyway this was a good PR for you.

      Anthony - 2012-05-21 19:33

      really, DOES zuma have? NO he does NOT, get it NOT.

      Rob - 2012-05-21 21:27

      Vusi: Why do you attack Lizwe in such an irrational manner? Seems to me that you are reacting, not thinking. Please don't waste that which makes human beings different from animals.

      piet.strydom - 2012-05-22 15:25

      Respect should be earned, not decreed.

  • rob.fleming.104 - 2012-05-21 18:29

    Here is another painting of Zuma BUT by a black artist...why is nobody upset about this?

      gghtssmop - 2012-05-21 18:40

      this thing is not about, whether the picture was drawn by a white or a black person. If it was drawn by a black person, he was gona face the same criticism or ridicule from the ANC. You just one of those white people who always wanna blame blacks even where they do not feature. How can we move on, when we have people like you rob& zuma!! You are no different to him

      TSOTSI Smilification - 2012-05-21 18:46

      gghtssmop - Rob is not being racist. He is pointing out a fact. The ANC released a statement calling the painting racist... playing the race card. Don't take it the wrong way mate... ;)

      rob.fleming.104 - 2012-05-21 20:36

      @gghtssmop - I am curious are you offended by this painting?

      Zulu - 2012-05-21 21:24

      @rob. I could paint Hellsn Zille with her private parts out in the open, but the sight of her private parts would make people throw up

  • Banele - 2012-05-21 18:34

    I'm sorry, but everyone (including Zuma) has the right to dignity. This right is absolute and unconditional. Painting a picture of him and his genitals is anything but tasteful. It is defamatory and amounts gross disrespect and deep-seated meanness. Would you like your genitals painted at an art gallery?

      Jason - 2012-05-21 18:39

      Good point actually.

      Adil - 2012-05-21 18:55

      I think this painting is in bad taste but bad taste is not against the law. The painting of Ayanda Mubula that features Mr Zuma and Desmond Tutu both naked is even worse.

      maseratifittipaldi - 2012-05-21 21:00

      Adil : There are some that will rapidly point out that the leopard skin attired guy in Ayandas's painting is not Zuma, but some guy from Bisho. I am sure you will recognize the hypocrisy, irony and double standards one can expect from the ANC camp.

  • Koos - 2012-05-21 18:35


      Saleé - 2012-05-21 19:56

      @Koos - if an art piece were to come with a "manufacturer's manual" explaining every single detail about it, then we might as well take the word "fun" out of our vocabulary. It's common cause that this is a likeness of Zuma. No one's denying that. There's no point in taking the debate backwards now.

      christian.denyschen - 2012-05-21 20:15

      It looks more like Vavi to me

      Pieter - 2012-05-21 21:29

      @Salee - The fact that everybody thinks that it is a portrait of Zuma does not necessarily make it so. The only person who can say that is the artist. That there is a likeness to Zuma is not in question. There is also a likeness to Vavi and perhaps at least 10000 South African men. If the painter denies that it is Zuma in court then all comments on this site and any other place where it is discussed becomes totally irrelevant and the ANC then has no leg to stand on in asking for the withdrawal of the painting because then it has nothing to do with them.

  • Alan - 2012-05-21 18:36

    A flaccid penis is no spear in any man's culture - perhaps Zuma use this undeniable point as legal grounds for banning it?

  • Jason - 2012-05-21 18:38

    To let them dicktate or not to let them dicktate. That is the question.

  • Forest Gump - 2012-05-21 18:40

    Its awesome that she wont let herself be bullied

  • Jigant1c - 2012-05-21 18:40

    I think that we need to get rid of all the kit and make a sculpture of this illustrious man. we need a black Michaelangelo statue to grace our art gallery.I wonder if we should carve it out of granit or coal? The whole statue, not just his narna!Silly!

  • HugoMabasa - 2012-05-21 18:42

    hear the arrogance,pride comes before a fall

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-21 18:50

      Just NO responsibility,

      Banele - 2012-05-21 18:56

      Arrogance indeed, to think it is Ok to paint genitals of a 70 yr old man, who is a father, a grandfather, and a great grandfather to his children. He too deserves respect, there is a clear line that has been crossed here and no one with a sound mind would support the exhibition of the painting. I know white people who would not support this as well, what happened to our moral fibre. He is a human being too and is entitled to the same respect you command. This is not the South Africa I want my kids to grow up in. Shame on us!!!!

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-21 19:24

      This may be appreciated in the West however here in RSA we hopefully hold ourselves to a higher standard.

      jomardl - 2012-05-21 20:33

      @ Banele -- You have the right to express your opinion and I agree with the fact that it is a distasteful and risky painting. But this is what a certain category of artist does. It's a side-effect of freedom and if the cost of freedom means being offend from time to time, it's worth it! Also, since we have freedom of expression we can hurl insults right back at those who offend us, if we like. As the famous saying goes "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." By all means, criticize, boycott etc. but please let us never again go back to the days of censorship and violence. Viva the Bill of Rights.

  • Bongiwe Bongie Mabongz Dlutu - 2012-05-21 18:42

    Somebody must do painting of Murray, and her genitals out **eye to eye* then she will know how much it hurts *sad* some people just thnk of themselves

      saneliso.mhlabane - 2012-05-21 19:56

      Only animals hav their genitals exposed.this is total disrespect for the president zuma and his is an insult even to d people of SA and their president.

      Byron - 2012-05-21 20:06

      why would a sane person sink to such depths for a silly tit-for-tat? Defies logic .. but hey, I'm sure some idiot might prove me wrong

      jomardl - 2012-05-21 20:35

      That's the great thing about living in a free society. Someone CAN do a painting of Murray.

  • Arthur - 2012-05-21 18:44

    Had the painting been of Mandela, or even Mbeki, there would have been a much greater outcry, and for those who believe it has been along racial lines, I believe white people would never have supported the painting of those two. It is not about respect for the office, it is how people see Zuma! Zapiro's depiction in Sunday Times was far more apt.

  • Margaux - 2012-05-21 18:45

    this is obviously a ploy by the agents!!! anything said or done by a white or coloured person has to be racist. our democracy is definitely in its infancy. think 18 years now (poor baby). public figure = public property.

      Byron - 2012-05-21 20:00

      please check your baggage at the door - why bring coloured into this? You obviously have issues of your own you're grappling with - build a bridge and get over that one asap

  • Keith - 2012-05-21 18:50

    Hope you guys will arrange enough burgers, beers and some whicky to boost the masses spirits: But I like Pitzas dont forget to call the pitzas trucks and some of those defective notes but only R200 bills please

  • siyadyosiba - 2012-05-21 18:50

    I condenm this Murray and his artwork of JZ with all my might. Its childish and contrary to the African culture which founded from respect and moral values. I however wish the President can learn a thing of two from this. The saying goes "whenever there is bad situation, there is always an opportunity to learn to be a better person". Brett Murray, given a chance, I would personally take the jambok myself to give you lashes for your disrespect of the elders.

      Antin - 2012-05-21 19:03

      "disrespect of the elders"? YOUR elders, perhaps. To others he's just an old fool, who happens to be foisted on SA as pres. In fact he's an odious destructive old fool. Respect for THAT? Pah!

      Mantsho - 2012-05-21 19:10

      As much as l dont like ANC, Zuma and his Administration, l think that this painting is a violation of human rights, it is disrespectful because he is a family man, father and grandad. so people please this is not nice at all.

      siyadyosiba - 2012-05-21 19:32

      @Antin, yes we don't disrespect elders..........publicly

      rob.fleming.104 - 2012-05-21 21:08

      Do you condemn this Zuma painting?

  • Charles-Bronson - 2012-05-21 18:54

    It's not called dictator anymore. It's called dicky-tor. They have the shorty complex!

  • Antin - 2012-05-21 18:58

    Lady, RESPECT!

  • Margaux - 2012-05-21 18:59

    i respect my elders. i dont respect thieves, womanizers etc etc etc. i think the list can go on and on and on and on and on. just because you are the president doesn't mean i have to respect you. bring back nelson mandela. respect!!!!!!!!!!

      morapedi.tshwarelo - 2012-05-21 19:04

      u'v got it wrong by coparing zuma with mandela! Zuma is a current president nd he derserves respect!

      Tubbie1 - 2012-05-21 19:31

      No one deserve respect you have to earn it!

      tshianeoisaac - 2012-05-21 19:35

      Mandela sold this country , how cn he reconcile wth poeple who already have wht they whr looking for,

  • anneck.cranke - 2012-05-21 18:59

    Lisa, rock on! Glad you have the guts to stand up to a clueless government! Sick and tired of the ANC and all the Jacob Zuma lovers hiding behind their racist cards whenever someone has the guts to speak their minds!

  • Philemon - 2012-05-21 19:04

    SA is the only country in Africa that allows such crap to happen, our leaders need mentoring and I know Mr Mugabe can give a perfect solution and ways on how to deal with people who display lack of respect for their leaders, freedom of expression my foot!

      Margaux - 2012-05-21 19:08

      um mugabe is a dictator?

      Kobus - 2012-05-21 19:12

      Our leaders, my foot! They are public servants, not gods!!!!!

      michael.a.devilliers - 2012-05-21 19:21

      So, how is the rest of Africa going where they "don't alow such crap to happen"?

      siyadyosiba - 2012-05-21 19:30

      @Phil, are you saying we must hire Mugabe to be our president for a year. I can already see dirt going to the sea. HAHAHAHAH

      Phae - 2012-05-21 19:38

      Wake up Phil! Get a mind of your own and catch up with the rest of the thinking world. Most of the rest of Africa is starving or fighting, and the poor citizens don't have the energy to think for themseleves. You can choose to operate like a zombie for your leader, we never will.

      anneck.cranke - 2012-05-21 19:48

      I suppose Mugabe's solution is to shoot more white farmers, assault and rape anyone else who opposes him? Eh Philemon?!?

      Jan - 2012-05-21 20:35

      Chill Tamaranui just to put it clear for you so you can understand? Under value our currency!!! NO. Every time our government opens their mouths or does something they think is intelligent, they devalue the currency Pillage our minerals! !! NO. That is what our corrupt african leaders do to enrich themselves Greediest Bast**ds on the planet!!! NO. Corrupt Africans Your knowledge of the world is something to be desired

      tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-05-21 20:52

      and look at the what condition Zimbabwe is in - never was like that in the good old Rhodesian days - the people of Zimbabwe are suffering (black people) and you think Uncle Bob did the right thing. It's people like you who will drag SA down the drain. You are very stupid if you think Mugabe has the answer - he is a fool - a madman!

      Zulu - 2012-05-21 21:36

      @Phia. With all the crap and mentality you whites have about us blacks, maybe starving is not a bad idea

  • Mandla - 2012-05-21 19:07


  • Quintus - 2012-05-21 19:07

    Thumbs up if you think Zuma deserves this. Thumbs down if you think Zuma has asked for this.

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-21 19:50

      Thumbs up and down for me.

  • Kobus - 2012-05-21 19:08

    If our "president" was a man of solid morals this wouldn't be happening now, would it?

  • Agedah Alex - 2012-05-21 19:10

    We all have our opinions but the majority see it as racist,what did the EU and US do when Mugabe started acting crazy,blacks are becoming more distasteful towards whites,when it starts getting crazy like Zim what can u do(Whites),remember apartheid failed because a war was becoming eminent which if it had happened would have a disaster for Whites

      Phae - 2012-05-21 19:24

      More racist threats Alex. How sad to see you have made no progress, within yourself, over the last 18 years to be able to differentiate between racism and the right to hold a different opinion. Just because you are the majority doesn't make you right!

  • yolanda.bezuidenhoutfraser - 2012-05-21 19:15

    How can you expect respect if you have no morals to begin with? If you disrespect HIV/AIDS, and think a shower is a cure.\r\nRace has nothing to do with it. It's moral values. There is sooooooo many men out there that respects women. Our President is not one of them. Rather bring Mr Mandela or Mr Mbeki back. The both of them had dignity and moral values when it comes to the women of South Africa.

      yovel.lonwabo - 2012-05-21 19:26

      Honestly Mr.President never sad a \ shower\ is a cure...he sad a shower is what he had after he had \sex\ and that hygiene...also you talk about respect and that painting has no respect in it...

      zipho500 - 2012-05-21 19:29

      Yolanda oh Yolanda!!!!!!!!!!!!

      noor.siyaad - 2012-05-21 19:50

      I Like president zuma so we must respect president rights.

  • graham.wollentine - 2012-05-21 19:18

    If you draw it does in make it art? If you photograph it does it become pornography? Whichever it is I would personally feel offended if someone painted me with my genitals hanging out.

  • grant.cloete.9 - 2012-05-21 19:18

    Please tell me there are other countries out there that make as much fuss about something as f**** stupid and irrelevant as this, that have other MASSIVE problems to rather worry about. Why do we get hooked up on stupid, menial, idiot, boring, CRAP! this is why we always be a second-rate nation!!

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-21 19:22

    thank goodness the underground movement in this country and the tyrants are being exposed.

  • graham.wollentine - 2012-05-21 19:24

    Oh yes and how does a struggling artist get a reputation for himself? I rest my case. Some people love being the centre of attraction.

  • Halidi Orama - 2012-05-21 19:24

    what sort of disrespectiful s this? Its like embrassing your own father,lets respect the president no matter what the stuation is,we have freedom yes,bt repect is more important among human beings.This must stop.never and never again to disgrace the President in this way.

      Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-21 19:36

      How stupid can one be to respect a person with a title. The masses in this country have been indoctrinated by criminals and fools.

  • Kathleen - 2012-05-21 19:26

    Have you considered that this is a diversion. To take us away from the actual focus of what is actually happening here.

      Olusunne - 2012-05-21 19:28

      Painting president private part,very bad neh.

  • jimzimbo - 2012-05-21 19:29

    This stupid saga has fast become as stupid as the julias debacle....god help the people of south africa...where are your priorities. This is a conveinent smokescreen for the clowns in government....what a heaven sent distraction to mobilise the focus of the blind loyal brigade away from the real issues facing the country.....the country is focused on zma's B*LLS!!!! ha ha ha ha how stupid.....

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-21 19:38

      Thanks Murray,

  • dimo.motloung - 2012-05-21 19:41


      zipho500 - 2012-05-21 19:43

      is your caps lock broken bro?

      Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-21 19:48

      This is not a democracy. This is a circus with a lot of naked clowns.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-21 19:56

      You ain't the Ringmaster

      rob.fleming.104 - 2012-05-21 21:10

      What do you think of this Zuma painting then?

  • tatsee - 2012-05-21 19:42

    ummm,guys-I think you are overloading the donkey's back here...

  • bryan.billy2 - 2012-05-21 19:51

    bt i think the President shld b absolutely respected, i think an apology nd removal of the paint shld b dne sooner nd peacefully.

      Jack - 2012-05-21 20:03

      30% pass rate calling again

      lazlo.roux - 2012-05-21 20:18

      There is one thing I can't understand. Why can't you write properly, spell the words correctly. How is anyone supposed to know what you saying. Go back to school and try again.

      Zulu - 2012-05-21 21:52

      We won't write properly because it's the language of former oppressors. To he'll with you and your English. Since you are so educated, how does it feel to live in a country by a man who doesnt even have Metric?

      Zulu - 2012-05-22 06:32

      Don't kid yourself Michael,once we are done with you, you'll have your fancy accent left

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-21 19:54

    I dare any aspiring artist to paint a picture of the merry wives of Zoomer. Naked obviously, in the style of a 16th century painting. A huge painting to fit them all in.

      Jack - 2012-05-21 20:04

      Dude, have you SEEN the size of them? Think of the awful amount of canvas needed. Not possible I think.ha ha

  • Saleé - 2012-05-21 20:02

    These are exciting times for those of us that are interested in constitutional law. Looking forward to the court proceedings!

  • Philemon - 2012-05-21 20:10

    If this idiotic act had happaned in Zim or Swazi or any other African country heads would be rolling, our laws are way too damn soft because with freedom comes great responsibility. Not only is this a cowardly act but its also nonsensical and it displays the thinking of a standard looser.

      Tamaranui - 2012-05-21 20:14


      lazlo.roux - 2012-05-21 20:20

      This needed to happen. Now the games begin. I can't wait.....

      Phae - 2012-05-21 20:30

      Zim and Swazi, two shining examples of success, integrity, peace and thriving citizens. Think you are living in the wrong centuary, let alone country!

      Zulu - 2012-05-21 21:55

      I guess you have nowhere to run. I can't wait for what happens in court to spill out in the streets

      Zulu - 2012-05-22 06:35

      Michael, barbaric or not, fact is, you are walking on thin ice and you know it

  • politepmabhenap - 2012-05-21 20:16

    This is realy not fiar,of course these artists have rights to say or to take out their fillings but this is also abuse to someone's rights.juss think of his family / kids!

      Antin - 2012-05-21 21:22

      Whaaat are you having us on here? Did I get you right and do you acknowledge the artists' right to take out their FILLINGS? In his studio, without going to the dentist? Whose fillings -their own or Zoomer's kids'? Oh you guys....

  • Sandile - 2012-05-21 20:28

    even an ordinary citizen like me would not accept what dat white thrush did 2 our president it just show hate,racesism and undermining our president why didn't he make a statue of bill clinton when he slept wth his employee bt because he undermine black people he do this and i don't understand why police don't take action and charge dat white stupid racesist thrush wth crimenia enjuria

      rob.fleming.104 - 2012-05-21 21:11

      What do you think of this painting then?

  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-05-21 20:41

    if the shoe fits ....

  • tricia.sutherland1 - 2012-05-21 20:48

    Tsotsi says: Members of the ANC, Supporters and the Mass Democratic Movement structures are requested to converge at Kruis Street, in Johannesburg as from 10h00 as an act of solidarity to the President and the ANC. Sorry i can't be there - i have to go to work and my husband is looking for a job and my unemployed son is standing in in an unemployment queue ... but i'm sure you will have a lot of ANC supporters there - you know the ones that don't want to work, they expect the jobs to fall from the sky and to somehow one day have a car and cell phone for free. The rest we are keeping out of trouble and trying to work so we can contribute something positive to the country - marching for a f'ing painting about Zuma is the most stupid thing ever!!!!

      Zulu - 2012-05-21 22:08

      @tricia. Tell your husband and son to try their luck at art. Who knows, they might become famous also.

  • Antin - 2012-05-21 21:00

    Oh dear His spear It used to be brown And now some clown Painted it red Fluck that,he said!

  • fanie.smit.5 - 2012-05-21 21:03

    Zuma is more worried where his manhood will sleep every night, than the plight of the Poor, roads conditions, the youth, old people and many other issues.

  • Antin - 2012-05-21 21:10

    Does SAn politics also make you puke / laugh? First: They marched for freedom. They marched for the vote They marched for equal rights Then when they had this all: They marched for more wages They marched for Zuma They marched for service delivery Now: They march against a painting. And Zuma, the corrupt lecher, he laughs and thinks: This painter guy, I owe him a big favour. See how the fools all rally behind me. Jacob Zuma's 2nd term is assured A P A I N T I N G For crying out loud!

  • tebalob - 2012-05-22 07:46

    This is so annoying.Zuma brought all this upon himself.It's not fair to this country to be always discussing his SEX in whatever way. His daughters should just shut up because he calls them to court to tell us that their friends agreed to have sex with him;what parent does that?good parents dont even want their children to know they have sex. REMEMBER THE DAUGHTER WHO WAS HIS WITNESS IN HIS RAPE CASE? So they must just shut up!

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