Goodman guard's action was justified - defence
"His actions were justified in the context of the environment that he found himself in"
THE security guard filmed assaulting a protester who smeared black paint on The Spear at the Goodman Gallery last week was justified in his actions.
Paul Molesiwa's attorney Rod Montana said this in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court where his client was appearing yesterday.
e.tv cameramen filmed Molesiwa, 36, head-butting Polokwane taxi driver Louis Mabokela after he had smeared black paint on the controversial painting by artist Brett Murray with President Jacob Zuma's private parts exposed.
"His actions were justified in the context of the environment that he found himself in," Montana said.
He explained that the Goodman Gallery had received reports of bomb and death threats as well as protest actions outside the gallery.
"You are then faced with a person who is publicly defacing property in the presence of security as well as police. He took the necessary steps to effect the arrest," he said.
Asked whether or not he thought his client used excessive force to arrest Mabokela, Montana said although it was labelled that way, given the environment it was not excessive.
Montana said his client did what was necessary not knowing if there were other people who were going to do the same thing.
He said the labelling of the incident as racist was beyond his comprehension.
"The white guy made his statement. He did what he needed to do and he stood 100% passively and put his hands down and was arrested. With this guy [Mabokela], if you look at the video you can see that there was another person trying to assist with the arrest, indicating that he was in fact resisting arrest."
The "white guy" Montana referred to is businessman Barend la Grange, who was seen on the e.tv footage painting a red cross over the face and genitals of The Spear.
A third man was also arrested for trying to spray paint the word "respect" on the gallery wall. Molesiwa's case was postponed to June 29 for further investigation. - email@example.com