Spear spat not over, says FPB

2012-05-29 15:49

Pretoria - The Film and Publication Board conceded on Tuesday it does not have the legal jurisdiction to classify any content published or broadcast by media outlets.

The board's chief operations officer Mmapula Fisha told a hearing about the classification of artist Brett Murray's painting The Spear in Pretoria that she understood and respected the self-regulation of the print media.

However, she said not having jurisdiction over the City Press newspaper did not mean the board was going "to fold hands over the issue".

City Press published a photo of the painting, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with genitals exposed, on its website. Following a public outcry it removed the image.

Fisha said her organisation had sound working relations with the Press Ombudsman and would forward the complaints about City Press "for the sake of the complainants".

"We have always known that we don't have the authority over newspapers. But we don’t fold our hands. We have to protect children of this country," said Fisha.

She said the board’s classification board would go ahead and deliberate about the classification of the painting.

"We can only take further steps on the portrait after our classification committee has decided on it. We had the legal obligation to hear presentations from City Press," said Fisha.

The board said the five classifiers dispatched to work on the portrait would come to a conclusion in the next week.

Steve Budlender, for City Press, said the board needed to give further clarity on the complaints about the image on its website.

The board said it had not thrown out the complaints, but would take "further steps" if the classification committee deemed it necessary to classify the portrait.

No point

Earlier, the Goodman Gallery's lawyer said there was no point in the FPB classifying The Spear since it had been disfigured and removed.

Advocate Matthew Welz, for the gallery, said the complaints were submitted before the image was removed. It was part of Murray's Hail to the Thief II exhibition.

"Now the image no longer exists. We do not have the portrait in the gallery and you also heard it was removed from the City Press website."

Welz said the original portrait of Zuma, which sparked protests, "had genitals showing".

"That image does not exist anymore."

He urged FPB panelists to dismiss the complaints brought against the image.

Panellists contended the defaced image could be restored or published again online. Welz told the board the image was bought by a foreign national who did not intend restoring it.

City Press contended earlier the board was overstepping its legal mandate as it had no jurisdiction to classify content published or broadcast by media outlets.

The paper argued that bona fide newspapers were regulated by the Press Ombudsman and the SA Press Code.

  • The-third - 2012-05-29 15:52

    hands up who still gives a ****?

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-29 15:58

      i couldnt give less of a **** if i wanted to...

      Alan - 2012-05-29 16:08

      Have the okes who defaced the painting been cited for a 'spear tackle' yet?

      FreeSpeech - 2012-05-29 16:12

      Freedom of expression... White people can scream at the top of their voices for transparency in govt/ and “freedom of expression” but when people of colour call for transparency in the system of white supremacy, or when the system of white supremacy comes under the microscope and racism is talked about, white people get very angry

      Christian J Denyschen - 2012-05-29 16:23

      @free what are you talking about? you know what Fck you, you have the government you have it easy in getting jobs school and into university fck every thing is made easy for you to excel in life but yet you go on about white supremacy. fck man its time you blame yourself or your government for your shortcomings.

      Igenatius - 2012-05-29 16:25

      This whole SPEAR story is a 100% distraction, so that the ANC can get the go ahead on the e-tolls. While everybody is watching the left hand, the right hand is busy sorting the cards.

      NrGx - 2012-05-29 16:57

      All the "government" and their poephols, i mean peoples, are showing the WORLD just how uncivilized and uncultured they are. Now before some of you get your sheepskin in a knot, it is not an insult..more of an observation as to how some can fight so hard against something they simply DO NOT comprehend. Its beyond the "rational thinking" of I dont like it so ill break it. Perhaps they should UNDERSTAND the HISTORY of art BEFORE they ridicule it!

  • E=MC2 - 2012-05-29 15:57

    hhahahaha all this wasted time and money over NOTHING. Half... no wait, probably 100% of the people protesting have never set foot in an art gallery, but yet feel that they have some sort of say over whats art and whats not art. GET BACK TO WORK YOU LAZY GOOD FOR NOTHING MORONS!

      Poloyatonki - 2012-05-29 16:01

      Moronic comment...

      E=MC2 - 2012-05-29 16:12

      Why? What about my statement is incorrect... this is about a painting which falls under the catogory of art is it not?

      Sandile - 2012-05-29 16:23

      I also think that you are a very stupid person, who is a perfect end product of the apartheid system. Apartheid's aim was to make black people to think like you. You are a disgrace to black people of this country, if ever you are black

      Kenna - 2012-05-29 16:28

      LOL - very well said. I can't help but wonder why Ayanda's art was not labelled racist. Oh, wait...

  • Poloyatonki - 2012-05-29 16:00

    For F*** Sake i am now tired of this story.

      Matthew - 2012-05-29 16:06

      yup =/ most of us are i think

      Alan - 2012-05-29 16:09

      feel free to move along Trolloyatonki...

      aspruyt - 2012-05-29 16:11

      Just as we are tired of incompetence and maladministration from the ruling party and the fools who support them. The exhibition took a shot at that and you defend it.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-05-29 16:16

      aspruyt we support them because they gave us our freedom.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-29 16:26

      Hey Alan, do you think the ANC has a Dept of Trolls and Wilful Stupidity? Polytrollsky might be the Director.

      Kenna - 2012-05-29 16:31

      For real? You actually think this current bunch of thieves gave this country freedom? This is not the ANC of Madiba. This is a disgusting abomination of that ANC.

      aspruyt - 2012-05-29 16:35

      They did not give you your freedom. FW and the voters did back then.

      Christopher - 2012-05-29 16:41

      @Kenna and Aspruyt...if you want a new FB pic click on my Name:)It shows more detail and shows excatly what Zuma is!

      Alan - 2012-05-30 08:04

      whaahaa Squeegee!!! LMML

  • FinalJustice - 2012-05-29 16:05

    Please get on with it, F.F.S! I think the amount of time and money spent on legal fees and utter bull sh*t exceeds the value of the God damned painting by miles. Can this useless bunch of idiots stop pi$$ing my taxes on such futile f**king issues of zero national interest, please? Get over it and start doing your jobs, then people (artists) won't have to portray you in these manners that you find so irritatingly offensive. Grow up!

  • chiepner - 2012-05-29 16:07

    Just read Eastern Cape doctors have not been paid in 6 months......also those children you want to protect - some of them has still not recieved any text books from their respective schools? So now I would like to know? Seeing that everyone wants to protect the children from the ANC this week - I have a suggestion. All those children who struggles to get books, dont have proper class rooms - infact anyone who struggles to get proper health services or any form of service delivery from the corrupt ANC. Why dont they all walk around with a T Shirt depicting "The Spear" untill our pres finally forces those corrupt cadres to stop stealing all the money and actually do their work. It seem this might be the only way in getting a resonse from the ruling party.

  • damonsb - 2012-05-29 16:11


      damonsb - 2012-05-30 08:06

      Why do you care

  • Charmaine - 2012-05-29 16:13

    i am speechless (that doesnt happen too often) that this is STILL carrying on.

      Squeegee - 2012-05-29 16:27

      Happy day!

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-29 16:30

    Dubula, if you think that JZ or any of the ANC morons really cares about you or anyone else in SA (other than their friends and family) you are in for a huge surprise. If you are going to wait for service delivery to start taking place you better sit comfortably,it's going to be a long wait....

  • Mandy Casey - 2012-05-29 16:42

    Don't buy an e-tag

  • Phelamanga - 2012-05-29 16:52

    It's a clever ploy to divert people's attention away from the R300bn that was given to Cuba as an unconditional loan, and it's also an attempt to use race, once again, to lift the reputation of a flaccid organ-isation. The ANC elites know that by putting a compromised man in the top position they open themselves to ridicule.

  • Biostête - 2012-05-29 16:53

    Motivated by a desire to destroy the city, Nero secretly sent out men pretending to be drunk to set fire to the city. Nero watched from his palace on the Palatine Hill singing and playing the lyre. Familiar?

  • monkinsane - 2012-05-29 16:56

    News24, Please take your spear and shove it. Why dont you put something meaningful on the front page, like news on the info bill. Or were you bribed to keep stoking the fires of racial division by keeping this story and related on the front page news? ANC maybe using you for publicity?

      nettie.potgieter.5 - 2012-05-29 17:10

      Don't be a stupit ass. New24 is 'n online news paper. Why dont you boicot it and stop reading it. Then we don't have to read you ignorant comments.

      scnzama - 2012-05-29 17:27

      news24 is just plain boring.we have heard enough of Zuma,s dick.

      Desi Moodley - 2012-05-29 19:05


  • MefrouwPoefparra - 2012-05-29 17:06

    In this banana republic of South Africa those in charge don't even know their own rules. But then, we are a banana republic.

  • scnzama - 2012-05-29 17:23

    glad i,ve been unbanned by News24

  • Louis - 2012-05-29 17:23

    Protect the children of this country.......go protect the 5 month old baby that was murdered last week you stupid people.

      Msika - 2012-05-29 18:11

      How do they protect a 5 year old that has been murdered already? Do they send some police officers to the kid's grave and camp there?

      Louis - 2012-05-29 21:11

      First of all it was a 5 month old baby. You're an idiot.

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-05-29 17:43

    Dr Verwoerd where are you?

  • gideon.rossouw - 2012-05-29 19:43

    16. F r e e d om of expression.-(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes- (a) freedom of the press and other media; ( b ) freedom to receive or impart information or ideas; ( e ) freedom of artistic creativity; and (4 academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. (2) The right in subsection ( 1 ) does not extend to- (a) propaganda for war; (6) incitement of imminent violence; or (c) advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm. QED

  • Blip - 2012-05-29 22:17

    FPB are revealing themselves as the lapdog of the ANC regime and not an independent and apolitical standards arbiter.

  • rnortier - 2012-05-30 06:56

    If the ANC tackled corruption and poverty with the same gusto as the stupid painting this country would be in top shape, I'm so over these distraction tactics... get back to real work!!!

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