ANC goes to court over Zuma painting

2012-05-22 07:50

Johannesburg - The ANC will go to court on Tuesday to try and stop the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg and the City Press newspaper from displaying a painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

The African National Congress's urgent court application will be heard in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.

It served the gallery and the City Press with court papers on Friday.

"These court papers are seeking to interdict both parties from displaying and exhibiting on their website or any other platform including the online channels, the offensive and distasteful so-called portrait," ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.

The 1.85m-high painting titled The Spear is part of Cape Town artist Brett Murray's Hail to the Thief II exhibition at the Goodman Gallery.

The ANC sent the gallery a lawyer's letter asking it to remove the painting, but the gallery refused saying that the picture would stay until the show was over.

The ANC also wanted the City Press to remove the picture from its website, but it also refused and said it would leave this to a court to decide.

On Monday, the ANC called on its members to gather at the court to show their support for Zuma.

"The African National Congress calls on all its members... to defend the dignity, reputation and integrity of the president of the ANC and of South Africa.

"Members of the ANC, supporters and the mass democratic movement structures are requested to converge at Kruis Street, in Johannesburg, as from 10:00 as an act of solidarity to the president and the ANC."

The painting has been widely condemned by, among others, Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile, the presidency and the Congress of SA Trade Unions.

  • anthro45 - 2012-05-22 07:54

    What's the point? Everybody is SA and 90% of the rest of the world have seen it by now. And in any case, it looks like a Looney Tunes figure.

      Peter - 2012-05-22 09:15

      Looks more like Kim Jong-il to me

  • Hudayfah - 2012-05-22 07:59

    I too am not in agreement with this whole penis hanging out painting. But this is a real storm in a tea cup. Now they want the members to attend too. This is over doing it.

      mariuskowie - 2012-05-22 08:26

      They are making this a trial by intimidation. Does not really matter what the judgement ends up being.

  • tumelo.theka - 2012-05-22 08:02

    I am very disappointed about this kind of painting, you can't expose our president like that and it seems to me as people just don't respect our leaders and as such those people need to be brutally punished.

      danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-22 08:30

      So Tumza, Is there anything that you and your ANC friends are able to resolve without brutality? does'nt look like it. are you planning to do the same to Mabulu, or is your Brutality reserved for people who's skin is different than yours?

      stuart.steedman - 2012-05-22 08:36

      You're right. I don't respect our leader. Respect is earned, not bought.

      Martin - 2012-05-22 08:38

      this is not a dictatorship, if he is as big as an african is supposedly in the crotch, then his spear could touch his a$$, and in that case he can go fffff himself

      kabelo.leballo - 2012-05-22 08:39

      its clear that u dont know what u talking about or what the painting portrays. LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE chicken brain!!!

      bryan.culross - 2012-05-22 08:42

      U are 100% correct about one thing which is that a lot us "just don't respect our leaders" - do u respect a person who inter-alia (1) Admits that although he is married that he knowlingly slept with a HIV positive person, (2) Who went to extreme measures to avoid having to face a corruption case in court and (3) Who has extra-marital relationships and sees no problem with this? Your response would be appreciated!

      Felix - 2012-05-22 08:47

      Yes, do it! The sanctions will knock your incompetent, greedy 'leaders' back into the stone age.

      Sidney - 2012-05-22 08:48

      Brutally punished, you are obviously a brute yourself to sprout such drivel. Zooma does not deserve respect as he has not earned it, he has no place being the president of South Africa due to his dodgy past and continuing underhanded shenanigans now. He is not a statesman and not presidential material.

      mariuskowie - 2012-05-22 08:49

      Tumza, don't you see the symbolism in this painting? Zuma did not really expose his spear, he did something far worse and eroded the morals of South Africa with his spear's behavior.

      Peter - 2012-05-22 09:13

      hes a public servant not a god, this is not zimbabwe

      Martin - 2012-05-22 09:21

      Stuart, he stole his respect, hense we have none

      Patsy - 2012-05-22 10:18

      How can we respect your leaders when they behave so immorally and don't care about the people they are supposed to serve????

  • allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-05-22 08:06

    The voice of dissent must be protected as much as the voice praise , that is the reality the presidency must come to terms with in democracy.

  • Wayne - 2012-05-22 08:08

    It's all about the priorities!

  • Koos - 2012-05-22 08:09

    Zuma wishes he was 1.85 tall!

  • Rose - 2012-05-22 08:11

    freedom of speech only, earn it zuma!!!!!!!!

  • Rose - 2012-05-22 08:14


  • Sagren - 2012-05-22 08:16

    Welcome to democracy ANC - what? are you struggling to understand it. Free speech is a fundamental right of everyone. This is how zuma is seen by millions - maybe if he stopped doing stupid things then people will see him as less of an idiot and more of a leader. But, unfortunately - that timne has passed. Hey, at least he is on canvass.

  • elkita.robbertse - 2012-05-22 08:17

    What a joke the ANC is.It way to late to stop anything

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-22 08:27

    Well, unless the ANC does the same to Ayanda Mabulu I think the artist has ground to sue them for racial persecution. After all, the only difference between him and Mabulu is the colour of their skin (and the fact that Mabulu's picture is far more explicit)

      lynn.barrett.35 - 2012-05-22 08:56

      Couldn't have said it better!!!

      Peter - 2012-05-22 09:18

      Please tell me your a lawyer and your willing to fight the case in court for Murray, i would be the happiest person alive and im sure the rest of South Africa would be to, well besides the racists anyway

      Patsy - 2012-05-22 10:22

      Where can I see this pic of Mabulu's???

  • kasamkelo - 2012-05-22 08:33

    So what? the world has seen it and we still know the Dubulibhunu lyrics. The point is there should be a line!!!!!!!!!

      Peter - 2012-05-22 09:16

      Where was your line on Ayanda Mbulu's painting?

      Felix - 2012-05-22 09:46

      So singing for genocide is now on par with painting a c*ck?

  • kabelo.leballo - 2012-05-22 08:34

    I really wish Jacob Zuma could take lack of service delivery, youth unemployment and corruption as personal as he is taking this painting!!!

      Martin - 2012-05-22 08:41

      exactly, he has all his priorities screwed up, Kabelo, think about this, you are educated right? And you see what everyone else who is educated sees when they look at the anc, corruption, faliure to produce on promises etc? why do you think te anc doesnt want to educate anymore africans?

      Gao - 2012-05-22 15:38

      I think wit dat mind of yours u shud b a president.dnt they have something better to do

  • Tony Lapson - 2012-05-22 08:35

    So there's nothin more important to fix in this country?

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-22 08:36

    Mashatile's knowledge of art is almost as good as the ability of my horse to play the violin. he is just another ANC cadre deployed in a position that will bring him a fat income for doing zilch. His opinion therefore matters as much as last week's weather forecast. More importantly, please can someone tell these bunch of mamparas that the picture is now owned by a German national who needs not abide by their whim? they have made the picture so famous that it will not surprise me if it ends up being displayed in a gallery in Europe. More

  • danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-22 08:38

    It seems this picture was really "HARD ON" them...

  • Sidney - 2012-05-22 08:42

    Going to court now is like closing the stable door once the horse has bolted. Zooma should worry more about exposing his stupidity than a painting exposing his genitals.

  • Juan - 2012-05-22 08:47

    This is such a pointless exercise by the ANC, thousands if not millions of copies will remain across the globe. Some more waste full expenditure the government could have used to pay towards the Gauteng highways, but no JZ's ego is more important.

  • logen.naidoo - 2012-05-22 08:48

    Its surprising that Malema did not comment on the painting. Most probably sitting on his farm with a big smile on his face and saying \KRY VIR JOU JZ\

  • tronibabe - 2012-05-22 08:54

    ask yourselves this wud u like to see your father or grandfather with his spear hanging out,if u wud thn u write nonsense here,bt if u wudn't then you will put aside wt JZ has done,he is an elderly and show some respect.

      bernard.herbert.9 - 2012-05-22 09:12

      Respect is earned... He has earned ZERO from me!

      danny.levin.351 - 2012-05-22 09:47

      Tronibabe, within his family he can claim "respect" because he is their elder. (seeing that he has sooo many kids he should have some respect there) However, if he wants our respect he must EARN it. for starters, put Shaik back in jail, submit himself to stand trial so he can either clear his name or join his buddy. then we would like to see competent people appointed to run things, not stupid incompetent cronnies. let's not forget that all those who have been caught out to be corrupt thieves must be locked up and return the stolen money. he can continue by not interefering with the law and protecting the likes of Mdludli and Cele. (this remainds me that Sheryl Cwele is still not in jail despite being sentenced to 12 years for drug trafficing. So once he has done the above ( the list is long still, but this is a good beginning), he will not need to ask for respect, he would be respected. Sadly we both know that this will never happen...

  • Matthew - 2012-05-22 09:01

    I reckon we should take this to the next level Zuma T shirts!!! we start printing shirts with the art on the front and Zapiro's version on the back!!! anyone keen?

  • ronel.kotze.3 - 2012-05-22 09:03

    a storm in a teacup...

  • bernard.herbert.9 - 2012-05-22 09:11

    So much being made of a small issue ('scuse the pun), he wasn't scared to give details on his sordid life when accused of rape... put the painting under a least in this case the problem will go away! Your reaction is exposing more of his (and the ANC's) small genitals than any painting could ever depict!

  • lebogang.molefo - 2012-05-22 09:14

    All I'm going to say is: "M'shini wam', M'shini wam'. 'Lethi m'shini wam"... Lol but seriously like @kabelo.leballo said, I just wish ANC and the whole of South Africa would pay as much attention to the things that are happening in S.A as much as they are to this painting... Many people are without homes, some live in bad conditions, you have kids as young as 13 being parents to their siblings because their parents are not around... The money that will be spent going to court over this painting should be used to fix some of the problems we have... Rectify the mistakes that you have made (ANC) if you don't want people to think that your leader is a "DICKtator"... By the way, where is Juju, I know he must be laughing his butt off right now, "I'm having the last laugh Msholozi *evil laugh*".... Lol anyway all your comments are welcome, negative or otherwise.... PS: As always your insults are also welcome and as always I forgive you in advance :)

      Felix - 2012-05-22 09:49

      Why would any one have a problem with your comment? You are right on the 'money' :)

  • Dewald Annelie Labuschagne - 2012-05-22 09:43

    One thing is for sure City Press got it's sales target for the week. What a way to ensure you

  • leoa.martins - 2012-05-22 09:43

    Tselane Tambo (Tambo's daughter) posted the following message on a social networking site: "So the Pres JZ has had his portrait painted and he doesn't like it. "Do the poor enjoy poverty? Do the unemployed enjoy hopelessness? Do those who can't get housing enjoy homelessness? He must get over it. No one is having a good time. He should inspire the reverence he craves. This portrait is what he inspired. Shame neh! [sic]" I couldnt have said it better myself

      natalie.samson1 - 2012-05-22 10:47

      so true! speaks to the the heart of issues face in our country, but if you read my post i hope you will agree with me on the questionable morals and ethics of those who are voted into power

  • Patsy - 2012-05-22 10:16

    Too late, guys. The whole world has seen what he uses with abandon!!!

  • colin.langley - 2012-05-22 10:17

    i wish the ANC would you this much fervor to tackle poverty and inequality...but i guess it's always easy to target someone who has every right to express his views in a country with freedom of speech and the freedom to sketch!

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  • natalie.samson1 - 2012-05-22 10:44

    I am not a fan of Zuma nor the ANC, and i do believe that the president of our country deserves respect, YET our current president as well as the party he represents display behaviors which contradict the societal norms of our country. The under-served masses which our government serves are the biggest victims of corruption in its varying forms. how do the people and parties we vote into government represent leadership? how do they represent the ethical values that we wish to see in those incumbents? this painting may be disrespectful in its representation of the form of our president, but what does this explicit representation of him point to? what moral and ethical codes does he AND the ANC represent? This painting really just encourages the discourse about right and wrong which is essentially a moral and ethical debate. Lets not be guided by the voting along racial, party, gender or other really inconsequential characteristics, but instead lets rather encourage voting for more ethical leaderhsip. leadership which is authentic and competent, effective and efficient, and which upholds and governs according to the mandates engrained in our constitution, as well as those moral and ethical obligations which the government has towards its people!

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