We want to restore calm - Haffajee

2012-05-28 08:55

Johannesburg - City Press editor Ferial Haffajee said the debate about Brett Murray's controversial image, The Spear, had become a clash, and the publication did not want to be a part of that. It wanted to be part of restoring calm.

She confirmed to Sapa that the image, which shows President Jacob Zuma's penis, would be removed from the City Press website.

"I just need a bit of time to do it," said Haffajee.

She would soon post a column about her decision on the website.

Haffajee also told Talk Radio 702 she was concerned about the personal safety of the newspaper's vendors, and journalists, after the ANC called for a boycott of City Press last week.

Haffajee said newspapers had been set alight over the weekend and a journalist evicted from a National Union of Mineworkers conference.

She told The Times that some of her journalists had received death threats.

She had had the full support of her bosses and had discussed with them whether she should resign. At no time had there been any pressure on her to remove the image due to commercial interests.

Last week Zuma, the ANC and Zuma's children took City Press and the Goodman Gallery, which had exhibited the painting as part of Murray's exhibition Hail the Thief II, to court to have the picture and image banned. Their approach was based on the right to dignity.

City Press and the gallery opposed the challenge on the grounds of freedom of expression.

  • Bongani - 2012-05-28 09:16

    truth be told city press does not sell any way. why worry haffajee.

      Nicolaas - 2012-05-29 01:28

      truth be told DOMGANI, you are stupid and ignorant. Every week I go to 6 different shops to buy my CITY PRESS nad guess what, it is sold out!

  • mikenortje - 2012-05-28 09:17

    Under the EVIL NP Government who we universally HATE ....... slippery slope we are now stepping onto not?: The power to ban publications was held by the minister of the interior under the Publications and Entertainments Act of 1963. Under the act a publication could be banned if it was found to be "undesirable" for any of many reasons, including obscenity, moral harmfulness, blasphemy, causing harm to relations among sections of the population, or being prejudicial to safety, general welfare, peace, or order of the state. Thousands of books, newspapers, and other publications were banned in South Africa from 1950 to 1990.

      mikenortje - 2012-05-28 09:39

      @ Mr Tamaranui you seem to like this word obtuse and angle which is an angle more than 90 but less than 180 degrees, how prey tell is this a comment to my posting.

      Loo - 2012-05-28 10:08

      @Tamaranui ... often find yourself on Mars ... go figure

  • Marima Optometrists Marima - 2012-05-28 09:18

    Too little too late... You should have anticipated this, management capabilities are usually tested through these and miss editor, you failed dismally by acting through your heart instead of ur head!!!

      Loo - 2012-05-28 09:31

      Erm .. Marima .. maybe you should go to an optometrist to get your eyes tested.. It seems your'e missing a couple of key issues here.

      Poloyatonki - 2012-05-28 10:31

      Someone didnt flush the Loo.

      Michael - 2012-05-28 10:47

      The "Loo" doesn't need a flush... It's a "long drop" (lol)

      Loo - 2012-05-28 11:32

      @polo & michael ,, awwww,I hurt your feelings ??? Or are you just in the mood for herding ???

  • aloffelmann - 2012-05-28 09:18

    I believe that action is "fear" and i am really sorry that Ferial was forced to make this decision!

      StilleWaters - 2012-05-28 09:28

      yes, tama, like your ancestors.

  • neil.kroese - 2012-05-28 09:21

    Less Nando's, more KFC me thinks...sadly though. Feeding the monster.Ayanda Mabulu painting came and hysterics whatsoever...Now suddenly its an issue? Oh yes..election of course..Time to convince black South African voters that whites are evil..and the reason why so many blacks are still suffering, no service delivery, rampant crime and corruption, collapsing education system....

      Bongani - 2012-05-28 09:37

      the unfortunate part things like these will always support that theory. The biggest problem of middle class is thinking that the whole country has moved on. We have a lot of unresolved issues and we are always sugar coating them. Here in News24 we insult each other and say what we think and i think thats what should be encouraged country wide.

      Fiona - 2012-05-28 10:02

      @ Bongani - your comment is interesting. Over time I have come to realise that it is not at all easy for people who have grievances to "just get over them". We think that simply according people their rights should suffice. Those who have not felt belittled simply do not realise how injured those who have been belittled feel. I agree that it is good that people express themselves freely and openly to one another as this is a way to resolve things, but I am am not so sure though that insulting one another further is the way forward, unless temporarily to get feelings into the open and to give the insulted ones the chance to insult back openly! But to continue to insult demeans everyone. Perhaps we need something like the interventions at University of the Free State and at UCT where there is (or was) a programme where people can face one another and say everything that they need to say and to resolve their attitudes and then truly realise their common humanity.

  • Loo - 2012-05-28 09:23

    THIS IS A TYPICAL result of communism ,, if the govt is not happy with something ,, get the unions and followers of Govt. to ruin them financially. Communism AT WORK .. disgusts me

  • Antin - 2012-05-28 09:23

    Can anyone please point to a higher-res. image of the painting? (Anything better than at wiki -300 x 390)

  • mikenortje - 2012-05-28 09:37

    AAAAAAh ok and here it is, follow the MONEY!!! City Press owned my Koos Bekker, who also owns Multichoice who is realiant ont Pres Zuma for a lic so tell Ferial did you get a call last night and told to back off?? COWARD.

      garry.garfield.1 - 2012-05-28 10:20

      This lady is no coward, Mike. The fact that she has bowed to pressure makes her a realist, not a coward.Give her support, not flak.

  • keith.recore - 2012-05-28 09:43

    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).

  • Dale - 2012-05-28 09:43

    The only reason why they took the picture down was because of safely . Cause thats what the ANC do best,they go against anything that is civil .Haffajee is not a chicken!!! She is worried what will happen. Like most people that live in South Africa, they fear the ANC. Not because they all powerful but because they use fear as a weapon. Botcotting your own News paper because of one image. They Spear image is everywhere now. People are making fun of it as we speak. All the ANC did was make themselves look stupid. When the people fear their government,there is tyranny!!!!!!

  • errol.wagner - 2012-05-28 09:52


  • brionyl.french - 2012-05-28 09:56

    Haffajee clearly is paid by the ANC...

  • scorpiondip - 2012-05-28 10:01

    Shame on the ANC. The painting was inspired by Zuma's lust for more and more women, reveals the truth of the man's exuberant sexual definition to prove he is "a man". I just wonder why the ANC Woman's League called upon all woman in SA to take hands, because in Angie's Moshega's words, "The Government of the ANC is losing focus on woman! Of course! Look at your leader! Look what he is doing and seeing in woman! A possible orgasm! Ferial is failing all woman now!

      owamin1 - 2012-05-28 11:00

      Polygamous marriages are not an indication of lust - in the same way that you decision to enter into a monogamous marriage is hopefully not an indication of your lack of lust (i say "hope" because I don't know). I hope you know that the institution of marriage, is about a whole lot more than sex - whether the marriage is monogamous or polygamous marriages. When we reduce a marriage to "lust for more women", it is clearly with an intent to insult again, and to undermine that which someone else subcribes to and is different to our own. This is precisely what has angered some of us. The laws of this country provide for polygamous marriages, and if you respect the constitutional provision for "freedom of speech" you should also be able to respect the fact that someone else may choose to have more than one wife.

      mike.clery - 2012-05-28 11:20

      @owamin1 - the irony of demanding absolute freedom and then demanding that others adhere only to *their* values and standards is completely lost.

      Malcolm - 2012-05-28 12:09

      "Polygamous marriages are not an indication of lust" - No but having affairs on the side outside of those marriages certainly is... Your argument is a straw man and now its on fire.

  • rudolph.steenkamp - 2012-05-28 10:02

    BOOOOO City Press, BOOOOOO! You just showed the whole country that if someone doesn't agree with something, you can get your way by threatening people with violence! If you want to become a journalist, or a newspaper editor, you'd better grow some damn balls and stick to your convictions, otherwise you can just go bake cookies for a living. Pathetic.

      StilleWaters - 2012-05-28 10:22

      @Kagiso *you *like *people *yourself *and

      Malcolm - 2012-05-28 10:45

      Yeah, I agree - very disappointed by this move, it does not bode well for this country.

      rudolph.steenkamp - 2012-05-28 11:00

      "... apology to our President and his family-families i meant" LOL! Yeah, I'm sure you meant "families" rather than "family", since Zuma has probably raped so many people that the plural is more suitable here :D Oh sorry, that's probably some more humour that a 12-year old won't understand. My apologies; just don't kill me, please!

  • debbie.w.boulter - 2012-05-28 10:12

    NEVER SURRENDER TO TERRORISTS!!!! You have been threaten and now you have given in, you are now setting a president for every time you do something the ANC does not like they know how to get to you!!! You have a moral obligation to stand your ground!!! Well that is if you believe in the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press!

      Kagiso Spat Truthtell - 2012-05-28 10:16

      freedom of expression cannot override the right to dignity and privacy

      debbie.w.boulter - 2012-05-28 10:26

      @ Kagiso what dignity does Zuma have??? He is a polygamist, he sleep with young women outside his marriage, he fathers children outside of marriage, he is an accused fraudster and rapist and I can go on and on...this man has no dignity!!!! This picture is a reflection of the man!!! He is already the laughing stock of the world and an embarrassment without the picture...

  • Azande - 2012-05-28 10:26

    It is now time to turn our heads to the other direction and seek liberation "again". ANC has become a monster and the sooner we realise that the better. They intimidate, bully and even kill whoever holds and voice a view different to theirs. Now, that is called "end of democracy".

  • Ganon - 2012-05-28 10:34

    @Greg,she is feeling the heat, very very hot, the maybe brainless according to white racists but they are governing. The 2 iron ladies are feeling the heat. @Alicia, did you real think the majority in this country think the doctored picture of Stalin is cool, you call that Brett guy an artist or a fake one, he doctored that picture and you know I'm right. He say he was once a supporter of ANC but he has changed now, he hates anything ANC. Blacks respect their elders and it is in our DNA. I saw the drawn picture of the Brett guy doing it to his wife, why did they sensor his pununu going into his wife... pathetic, it is only good when blacks are depicted. Circulate that picture in the internet because you think porn is cool. That Brett picture doing it to his wife is as much porn as that one of the President. Stop the hatred and wake up. Did you see how distateful was that picture of Brett and his wife, we don't need that rubish!!!

  • thabo.manganye - 2012-05-28 10:40

    have always thought we were all doing good academicaly. did it ever crossed your mind that City Press published a few copies than usual. got the info from my friend who works in the printing department. people, wake up.

  • Malcolm - 2012-05-28 10:42

    Argh, backing down on stuff like this will just show the people sending the death threats etc. that doing so works. It is completely the wrong thing to do. Disappointed...

  • Mlu.Tolo - 2012-05-28 10:43

    we have copies for future reference, you can take that one

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-05-28 11:01

    Disappointed Ferial.You lost some sales.

  • Schmee - 2012-05-28 11:07

    Oh dear, I just deleted it off my pc. Guess I'm going to be looking at the recycling bin to restore it again.

  • Sekalf - 2012-05-28 11:26

    Education is what a racist did not get enough of - It takes a certain IQ to be able to understand and respect difference. The contributions (in this blog) with a racial tendency are clearly from readers which have not enjoyed the possibility to fully develop their brains - mostly visible in their poor grammar.

  • rudolph.steenkamp - 2012-05-28 11:32

    Finally someone who makes sense! Hats off to Ayanda Mabulu! At least he understands art.

  • pablo.chavez.9081 - 2012-05-28 13:07

    Haffajee, you sold your for what? ....aah! that sweet money. you should be proud

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