Painting showing President Zuma's genitals vandalised in city gallery


Two men have vandalised a painting of President Jacob Zuma of South Africa which shows his genitals and is the subject of a court challenge by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

The men smeared paint on the portrait, known as The Spear, at a Johannesburg gallery that depicts him in black, yellow and red in a pose similar to one in which late former Russian leader Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was frequently shown in Soviet propaganda posters, footage broadcast on the eNews Channel showed yesterday.

Police arrested two men, one aged 25 and the other 58, for allegedly making crosses with red paint and smearing black paint on the portrait. Both are to appear in court on May 24th and are likely to face a charge of malicious damage to property.

The South Gauteng High Court postponed an application to May 24th to have the painting removed after the ANC said it infringes on Mr Zuma’s constitutional right to dignity and privacy.

The party will continue with its case on principle because the president had been humiliated, spokesman Jackson Mthembu said. The South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, both ANC allies, condemned the image.

The gallery had refused to take down the painting, saying this would be a form of censorship. – (Bloomberg)