Zuma painting vandals in court

2012-06-28 10:05

Johannesburg - The trial of two men accused of vandalising a painting depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed will continue in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

The matter was postponed in May for further investigation.

Barend la Grange, 58, and Louis Mabokela, 25, are accused of defacing Brett Murray's painting "The Spear" at the Goodman Gallery in May.

The painting was defaced with red and black paint, obscuring Zuma's face and waist.

La Grange said after his appearance that 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.

Co-accused Mabokela, accompanied by his uncle and a group of ANC supporters outside the court, said he was covering the insult to President Jacob 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."

Both men's bail of R1 000 was extended. 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 appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court separately on Wednesday and also got R1 000 bail.

  • erich.goosen - 2012-06-28 10:46

    Weighing the two versions of the accused I find the one of Makhobela more honest and convincing. La Grange says the artist had the right to display the painting but once he had made his point, the painting should have been removed. By implication he is actually condoning the display of the painting (albeit for a short while) and was the display not regarded as an insult to the Prez by him. He does not state for how long a period the display should have lasted. Any prosecutor worthy of his salt will destroy his (apparent) noble motives with a few questions under cross-examination. La Grange creates the impression that he wanted to steal the limelight and gather the admiration of the public. All that he has succeeded in doing (in the event of a conviction) is to get a previous criminal conviction which might be prejudicial to him later on.

  • sibusiso.thwala1 - 2012-06-28 11:17

    Some people need to grow up and come up with smarter comments. And they see morons, go figure.

  • keith.f.murphy - 2012-06-28 13:09

    What insult idiot?? your President is a disgrace to the population of south africa.Go play with the cows balls maybe malema can give you a job milking cows you brainless idiot.What do you know about insult?????Get your ducks in a row

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