Controversial painter hits again‚ this time with Zuma and his dogs

Controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu argues with security at Sandton Square in Johannesburg after erecting one of his artworks showing Jacob Zuma and Nelson Mandela in the shopping centre.
Controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu argues with security at Sandton Square in Johannesburg after erecting one of his artworks showing Jacob Zuma and Nelson Mandela in the shopping centre.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The controversial artist who painted an explicit artwork of then-president Jacob Zuma sitting on Nelson Mandela’s lap has made an appearance at the Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton for an art installation on Wednesday.

Eastern Cape artist Andile Mabulu is no stranger to stirring controversy. While some find his work distasteful and disrespectful‚ there are those who applaud his courage. David Kutu‚ who witnessed the erection of the artwork‚ said the artist’s work is “not for the faint-hearted”.

“I derived this from the responses I saw from people‚ especially older people. Some were very [annoyed]. There was a mixed reaction but after asking him what he is trying to convey to the nation‚ you make sense of it all.”

In his explanation of the painting‚ Mabulu “made it clear that everything that former state president Nelson Mandela stood for‚ the Jacob Zuma leadership took away. Hence in one of his paintings‚ Mandela is in tears. That tore me apart as well‚” Kutu said.

In one of the installations a monkey was seated on a throne‚ with a chain seemingly meant to put Zuma’s sons Edward and Duduzane on the leash — they were depicted as bulldogs in labelled white t-shirts. Close to the monkey was another bulldog labelled Khulubuse‚ Zuma’s nephew.

“He did explain the dogs. The main one on the throne is Zuma and his private part is cut off‚” said Kutu.

Edward Zuma is known for his vigorous defence of his father in the media‚ while Duduzane is reportedly a beneficiary and middleman for the friendship between his father and the unpopular Gupta family.

“He is liberated and confident. He believes in freeing ourselves from fear of repercussions of our acts. While the leadership of Zuma boils him up to his last nerve‚ the well-spoken Mabulu articulates himself very well. He is the one we should stand in awe of for breaking the silence‚” Kutu said about the artist.

Durban wax sculptor and painter Lungelo Gumede who captured Zuma and several others in wax and paint recently said buyers were not interested in his Zuma sculpture.

If you are an art fanatic‚ you should look out for the Investec Cape Town Art Fair‚ which runs from Friday 16 until Sunday February 18 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Mabulu showcased his work on the same night the president rendered his resignation on live television.

Posted by Hlengiwe Vilakati on Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Nathi Zungu‚ marketing co-ordinator for the Sandton Nelson Mandela Square‚ said the matter had been handed over to the police.

“Nelson Mandela Square is aware of the unsolicited‚ explicit imagery that was brought onto the property. It was removed immediately by the mall’s security team and the perpetrators were handed over to the police. This matter is subject to an official investigation. Any further details regarding this incident should be sought through the police.”

The mall is operating and trading as normal.

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