ANC takes battle of The Spear to court
AFTER days of legal threats and grandstanding over a controversial artwork depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, the High Court in Johannesburg will be called on to decide the matter.
ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu yesterday confirmed that the party would seek a court interdict tomorrow.
The court hearing comes days after the controversial artwork - titled The Spear - made national headlines.
The ANC had demanded that the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank remove the painting from its walls, failing which the party would seek legal recourse.
But gallery owner Liza Essers rejected the demand, arguing that it amounted to censorship.
Mthembu reiterated the party's stance that it defamed Zuma's person and was not within the confines of freedom of expression.
"If one is insulted through what is called artistic expression, what legal recourse does one have?
"That is what we want to establish. We are going to court because we believe in the justice system. We believe the system is the best adjudicator on matters of freedom of expression," he said.
Meanwhile, the alliance gender structure of the ANC Women's League, Cosatu's gender committee and the SACP Women's League has joined the loud chorus of calls for artist Brett Murray's painting to be removed from the gallery's walls.
The group labelled the piece "distasteful" and said it was simply an attempt to humiliate the president.
"The alliance gender structures detest in the strongest possible terms the vulgar portrayal of the country's president.
"The painting is not only an insult to the president and to the ANC, but to all the South Africans who have been subjected to their president portrayed in this sexual manner. The painting is extremely insensitive and an expression of pure prejudice.
"It violates the integrity of the office of the president of the republic, and it violates his rights as an individual to humane and fair treatment," its statement said.