We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

An unidentified man attacking the painting The Spear. AP Photo/eNews
The Spear

VIDEO: Controversial Jacob Zuma painting defaced at gallery

The Spear depicting Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

A CONTROVERSIAL PORTRAIT of the South African president Jacob Zuma which depicted him with his genitals exposed has been seriously damaged.

The painting entitled ‘The Spear’ by artist Brett Murray has been on display at a Johannesburg gallery.

Zuma has sought a court order calling for the painting’s removal over his right to privacy.

Today two men entered the gallery and defaced it with red and black paint before security guards intervened:

(Video uploaded by enewschannel)

Although the painting appears to be beyond repair, according to the gallery’s director, the court case is set to go ahead on Thursday.

Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane said today that the case should be heard because it concerned both national interest and the constitution. Freedom of expression is protected under the South African constitution – as is the right to dignity.

The AP reports that opinion in Johannesburg appears divided over the painting, with some saying Zuma has the right to human dignity and privacy, while others say that artists should be able to make commentary about political situations.

One artist who was present in the gallery at the time of the defacing said that Zuma is “famous for all his women, all his children.”

“I get what the artist is saying,” ceramicist Sophia Morren said. “Zuma shouldn’t be complaining, really.”

- Additional reporting by the AP

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.