Zuma, all blacks deserve respect
YOU must have witnessed someone's disgust at the sight of a person peeing in public on the side of the road.
First opinion is that such a person does not respect himself. He therefore can't respect you. It is just one of a myriad reasons that cried for the Child Protection Act.
Kids must not be exposed to lurid conduct: They are innocent and have dangerously impressionable minds that cannot easily differentiate between right and wrong.
Some court officials will punish such a demeanour even if the offender could not reach a toilet in time.
Thus the media agonise over and don't publish pictures of private parts. To mitigate, publications with such images clearly mark them "For adults only". It is a legal requirement in South Africa.
So it must be at art galleries too.
What ranks with this insensitivity is the depiction of President Jacob Zuma, displayed and sold for R136 000 by Brett Murray at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg last week.
I hold no brief for Zuma, who has disappointed in more ways than one. But portraying him zip down and his perceived black penis hanging out is the height of arrogance, even though the originator is a man I should have an ear for because of his anti-apartheid activism.
That the portrait is not something to savour is summed up by Murray himself: "It was not the kind of work I expected to sell. It was more about an idea. I didn't think someone would want to buy and hang it in the lounge and live with it."
Off course. It is a caricature.
I assume that creation is rooted in Zuma's history of sexual exploits. But unlike countless others, he has never hidden his sexual exploits. Except for his dalliance with Sonono Khoza, he has laid his affections and preferences bare to the public.
It is the Constitution and its stipulation on culture that is under the whip. We voted for a president with a clear understanding of the cultural choice he swears by when it comes to relationships. Like most of our indigenous cultural norms - slaughtering and koma initiation school included - we are continuously coerced into submitting that they are primitive and offensive.
It is as demeaning as FW de Klerk's defence of some apartheid statutes in an interview with CNN last week.
Remember the original Citizen newspaper's advocacy journalism. It left no middle ground in its efforts to legitimise ill-gotten gains by whites. Even now, they see Bishop Desmond Tutu's call for them to contribute to alleviating imbalances that still spit at reconciliation efforts as madness and a travesty.
There must be a code of ethics or it will always lack compassion and insult long-held beliefs. Not only Zuma , all of us deserve respect.
No respect for Struggle heroes
"IT IS in bad taste. Whether you call it art or not, it is in bad taste.
"It goes beyond disrespect - not only for the president, but anyone. It also goes against the grain of what is entrenched in our Constitution. This is probably done in the name of freedom of expression, but such freedom must respect the dignity and right of others.
"Even at the height of the struggle against apartheid we never insulted the leaders of the time - we never depicted whoever, including PW Botha, with his genitals exposed.
"This person is being political and accusing us of being corrupt and pissing on the graves of the Struggle heroes without anyevidence." - Jackson Mthembu, ANC spokesman