Spear magistrate lets rip in court

2012-06-28 12:10

Johannesburg - The case against two men accused of vandalising a painting depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed has been postponed until September 4.

On Thursday, Magistrate Johan Engelbrecht let rip with a rebuke lasting five minutes after prosecutor Frederick Bukes complained that the investigating officer had not fulfilled any of the investigative requirements, leading to the request for a postponement.

"This cannot be tolerated," Engelbrecht said.

He called the police's failure to do their work a "form of police brutality", because the cases of people still in the cells could be heard in the time they wasted.

No crowds

He said he would not hesitate to strike the matter from the roll if the police were still not ready by the next date.

Barend la Grange and Louis Mabokela had waited patiently for the court to start, without the crowds and loud debate of previous months.

Both said they were fine as they moved into the dock.

They are accused of defacing Brett Murray's painting The Spear at the Goodman Gallery on May 22.

At the height of a debate over whether the painting was morally acceptable, it was smeared with red and black paint, obscuring Zuma's face and crotch.

At the time, the ANC had been planning a court application to have the painting removed from public display.

La Grange said earlier the gallery and the artist had the right to display the painting, but once their point had been made, the painting should have been taken down.

"A high court must get involved for a painting? It took me 15 seconds to get rid of the painting," he said.

Mabokela fired

Co-accused Mabokela, a taxi driver, accompanied by his uncle and a group of ANC supporters outside the court at a previous appearance, had said he had been covering what he regarded an insult to Zuma.

"I was covering the insult to the president. They insult the president. It's my president. It's an insult to us, [to] all people."

Mabokela has reportedly since been fired for claiming to be sick on the day of his arrest. He told the Sowetan it was worth losing his job "in order to restore the dignity of the president".

He and La Grange are out on bail of R1 000 each. Neither have been asked to plead. They face charges of malicious damage to property.

A third person, George Moyo, was arrested for spray-painting on a wall outside the Goodman Gallery. He had appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court separately and was also out on R1 000 bail.

A security guard had also been charged with assaulting Mabokela during his arrest.

  • Bardy - 2012-06-28 12:14

    The police are ANC members... They never do their jobs properly!

      Janice - 2012-06-28 12:22

      Well done to the magistrate!!! Hes 100% right!

      Squeegee - 2012-06-28 12:22

      This matter is still unzipped.

      SkarrelKind - 2012-06-28 12:44

      What a circus!! - 2012-06-28 13:25

      so if the police drag their feet and the judge strikes it off the roll nothing will happen to these damn idiots that defaced that beautiful painting. Ja the ANC has far reaching influence and i bet you the bastards won't get fired for dragging their feet. What a stupid nation, intimidate,steal, rape, lie that's all they know. Oh, and being lazy sorry almost forgot

      Mike.ntsh2009 - 2012-06-28 13:38

      @Bardy, I think you must be dragged by your s***r for that insuniation.

      Bardy - 2012-06-28 13:41

      s***r??? WTF is that?

      Janice - 2012-06-28 13:58


  • Jawa - 2012-06-28 12:21

    An immediate award of costs for the postponement and waste of time should have been made against the police.

      Warren - 2012-06-28 12:37

      Why against the police? You & I pay for the police through our tax contributions so what you are suggesting is that the court effectively penalize us. Rather charge the investigating officer with contempt of court & make him pay the penalties out of his own pocket. Then sit back & see results miraculously appear in record time.

  • Omrisho - 2012-06-28 12:21

    good for the magistrate... incompetence and lack of commitment should be called into question every time it appears as the norm...

      Omrisho - 2012-06-28 13:15

      lol... so some braindead thinks that incompetence and lack of commitment should be the norm, wtf... no hope

  • jaco.prins.7 - 2012-06-28 12:29

    Why were people up in arms about this triviality, but silent about the school handbooks?

      fussed.anderson - 2012-06-28 12:34

      Because they can shout, toitoi smash and break things BUT THEY CANT READ

      inga.kabane - 2012-06-28 12:52

      wow fussed.anderson, shows how narrow minded you are. lumping people like that. get this, THEY CAN READ!!!

  • tyrone.hunt85 - 2012-06-28 12:30

    YAAAAWWWWNNNN, won't hold my breath to see the end of this saga. 2014...2015?

  • KallieHungBal - 2012-06-28 12:30

    Strike it from the roll? No problem. BUT what happens to the SAPS member who did not do his job, and wasted the court's time and money? He should be prosecuted.

  • michael.moets - 2012-06-28 12:34

    Go SA legal system!!!!

  • winston.mullany - 2012-06-28 12:35

    "It's my president. It's an insult to us, [to] all people!" I don't fracking think so! I don't see it as an insult! Its the truth!! And his not my president, I didn't vote for a male escort!

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-06-28 12:40

    What more evidence does the prosecutor want?the video is whats the points of wasting more time?

  • Dhavandran - 2012-06-28 12:54

    typical anc mentality, they worry about minor issues while millions out there do no have access to portable water, sanitation and housing. never thrust them as they cannot deliver on their promises. maybe we should THRUST them with spears.

  • inga.kabane - 2012-06-28 12:54

    doesn't video footage hold in court? there is a video of the two guys defacing the painting. They're not denying it either. I'm confused.

      theWatchman - 2012-06-28 13:13

      so am I!!!!

  • Clive - 2012-06-28 12:57

    I trust the new police commissioner is taking note. This case is a really trivial matter, but how often do we hear of judges and magistrates lambasting the police for not doing their jobs properly in murder, rape, fraud/corruption and other far more serious cases? Far too often; you have your work cut out to stop the rot, madam commissioner.

  • Christo - 2012-06-28 13:00

    Nothing, but nothing is going to happen La Grange and Makobela! Justice in this country is only meted out on the basis of who you know and whether the criminal offence favours the ruling party and ANC government. As etv's 360 degrees programme slogan says - "see Africa like you have never seen it before"!

  • collystos - 2012-06-28 13:00

    d showerman wil dismiss d documents we al no dat he's corrupt

  • ana.curcic - 2012-06-28 13:17

    Why even bother wasting the money. Fine them for what they are charged according to the law and fine the police for gross mmissconduct.

  • Johan - 2012-06-28 13:17

    Good to hear that the rules of law are being upheld by our magistrates. Making an arrest requires paperwork and it seems that that is where our dear policemen are challenged.

  • heather.stip.7 - 2012-06-28 13:29

    Anybody stop to think that maybe the police were told not to be ready? So, the magistrate strikes the case off the roll, case dismissed! Everybody happy, except the artist and Goodman Gallery, but they're white, so who cares, right?

  • Michael - 2012-06-28 13:44

    Dear Mabokela: a few points need correction: 1) the president has no dignity to restore. He lost that YEARS ago whilst allegedly raping a woman, and then taking a shower to prevent contracting the disease. There's a flurry of screw ups since then. These ensure that the president's dignity is non-existent. 2)The piece of art was NOT an insult to me, and not to many other people either. I rather enjoyed the magnifying glass it has put on the president and his philandering disrespectful ways. If anything, we should remove Zuma to restore the country's dignity. As for losing your job, we'll see how "worth it" you think it really is once you're struggling to buy bread.

  • neville.lollan.75 - 2012-06-28 13:44

    A child was murdered and dumped in a spruit near Slovo Park and Bushkoppies this was not reported in any newspaper Why should I care about people trying to gain fame and fortune for their own self enrichment for all I care they can be declared heroes of whatever whims may tickle your fancy this time around How about the Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk medal for valour and conviction for human kind kind or the order of resistance against a black racist government

  • cyberdog.breath - 2012-06-28 15:40

    "It took me 15 seconds to get rid of the painting" Sure, and it will take the whole of 3 seconds to get rid of him, that does not make it right ...

  • dvd.hamlyn - 2012-06-28 18:20

    Did Zuma's dignity save us from the clutches of aparteid? Does Zuma's dignity contributy to the nations economy? no? then let Zuma's dignity fend for it's self

  • pages:
  • 1