Cape Town - The Cape Party intends to lay hate speech charges against artist Dean Hutton for his controversial artwork, it said on Friday.
"We will request the court to declare the offensive piece as hate speech (and to) order its removal from the public gallery," party leader Jack Miller told News24.
They intended submitting papers in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court next Wednesday.
The art is presently on exhibition at the National Art Gallery in Cape Town. Several men, some wearing Cape Party T-shirts, vandalised Hutton’s work by pasting a sticker with the words "Love thy Neighbour" over it, according to a video released on Thursday.
Miller said the poster was a blatant case of racist hate speech. He wanted Hutton to be fined R150 000, the same amount as racist Penny Sparrow, who compared black beachgoers in Durban to monkeys in January 2016.
Hutton's artwork has the words "Fuck white people" repeatedly printed in black and white over it.
'White people made racism'
The artist said the installation was meant to provoke white people.
"White people made racism and made sure it is deeply embedded in our social systems, laws, economies, institutions and individuals. So this provocation is here to make you feel that 'white pain'," the description accompanying the work reads.
Hutton told News24 on Friday that criminal charges will be laid against members of the Cape Party.
"My only comment is that they best save their legal fees for criminal charges," the artist said.
Iziko Museums CEO Rooksana Omar said the discussion on racism was unavoidable.
"Artists frequently question and engage with uncomfortable issues or situations that confront them. Racism and its related concerns is an unavoidable, even inevitable, subject that is explored in many artworks," Omar said.
A public discussion about the exhibition would take place at the National Art Gallery on February 16.