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Mon Dec 22 00:13:25 SAST 2014

The Anti-Spear Protest March LIVE

Times LIVE, The Times, Sapa | 29 May, 2012 07:23

As of 13:45 this stream will no longer be updated. All the latest stories will be posted to our front page.

REMOVE INSULTS TO 'THE MOVEMENT': YCL

If the Goodman Gallery does not remove all symbols that insult the ANC and its affiliates, it would be closed down, the Young Communists' League told protesters in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

"The movement has always promoted freedom of expression, but you cannot denigrate important figures," the league's national secretary Buti Manamela told a crowd who had marched on the gallery in Rosebank.

He told the crowd, which stretched for over three city blocks, that "the movement was opposed to the painting".

The gallery is currently hosting an exhibition by Brett Murray called "Hail to the Thief II". Many of the works criticise the ruling party, implying it has "sold out" to corruption.

The focus of Tuesday's march was Murray's now-defaced work "The Spear", which depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. It is Murray's interpretation of a Russian propaganda poster depicting Marxist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.

A speaker from the SA Council of Churches said the protest was aimed at the gallery and the artist. In a statement on the SACC website Rev Mautji Pataki said the council found the painting "distasteful in the extreme".

"The picture is not only denigrating to President Zuma alone, but to all those who respect fellow human beings and never express their feelings in a hateful manner to anyone."

He said the artwork was a classical picture of what hate could achieve when it ruled the mind.

"President Zuma, even if Goodman Gallery hold a different view to what he represents, does not deserve to be undressed in public and made to be an object at a time when his task is to lead our nation," he said.

The SACC would be happy to receive a public apology from those who designed the "dehumanising picture", Pataki added. - Sapa

Update TimesLIVE

ANC ends boycott of City Press

Roshan Nebhrajani, The Times

Goodman Gallery has removed an image of "The Spear" from their website

MARCH REACHES GOODMAN GALLERY

Marchers arrived at Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg at about noon on Tuesday to protest against The Spear painting, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

ANC representatives were preparing to hand over a memorandum demanding that the artwork no longer be included in an exhibition.

Riot police with shields and Johannesburg metro police on horseback kept protesters several metres away from the building.

ANC national spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the protesters were there to defend the dignity of the ANC.

"Even workers demand the right of human dignity for Jacob Zuma," he said.

The crowd, which stretched over three blocks, was slow to move as busloads of protesters continued to arrive at Zoo Lake well after 10am, its planned start time.

A heavy police contingent kept close watch, with helicopters hovering over marchers and policemen blocking off side streets into the plush northern suburbs.

Municipal workers dressed in orange overalls joined the mass protest which started to move at about 11.45am, nearly two hours later than its scheduled start time.

Jan Smuts Avenue, one of Johannesburg's busiest routes linking the Johannesburg city centre with the northern suburbs, was closed between Zoo Lake and Bolton Road in Rosebank.

Buses, including some with registrations from Limpopo and Mpumalanga, lined the route.

The march was to protest the exhibition of the painting by artist Brett Murray showing Zuma's genitals.

A member of the public, Sipho Mweli, said he came from Mpumalanga to join the protest and to support Zuma.

Around his neck he had hung a cardboard placard on which he had written, "Draw your white father naked not our president."

He said the statement was aimed at artist Brett Murray and he challenged him to draw a white man in the manner he had drawn Zuma.

Elijah Tauraza, also from Mpumalanga, said the painting was intended to belittle Zuma.

"How do you portray the president exposed when you have not seen him that way, even when he grew up?" he said.

The painting by Murray needed to be destroyed, he said.

"Keeping it in any form was an insult to Zuma and South Africans," he said.

Gwede Mantashe, ANC secretary-general, was also part of the protest.

Roshan Nebhrajani, The Times

ANC, Cosatu, SACP, Sanco reps speaking to the crowd.

This painting must not be sold, it is not worth anything, it belongs to the museum of shame - Blade Nzimande of the SACP

Update - TimesLIVE

Various leaders are addressing the crowd not far from the Goodman Gallery.

Police have set up a barricade around the entrance.

The march has been joined by a number of leaders including Gwede Mantashe and Blade Nzimande.

Protesters are carrying various placards including one that reads "Whites hate Blacks"

There's a heavy police presence along Jan Smuts avenue and at the Goodman Gallery.

RURAL PROTESTERS JOIN MARCH ON GALLERY

The protest against The Spear painting of Zuma was slow to start on Tuesday as buses from far-flung areas continued to arrive in the city carrying supporters of President Jacob Zuma.

Buses from Mpumalanga and Limpopo arrived at Zoo Lake early on Tuesday. Some protesters said they had slept overnight at the park in anticipation of the march on the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank.

The march is to protest the exhibition of the painting by artist Brett Murray showing Zuma's genitals.

On Tuesday representatives of the All African Federation of Churches, dressed in purple religious attire, said they were joining the protest because they felt the painting dehumanised Zuma.

"We are here to reconcile the country. There is a lot that needs to be corrected," said the church's Archbishop Qwetha.

The march was scheduled to start at 10am but roads in Rosebank were still open at 11am. Helicopters monitored the protest, which was three city blocks long by 11.30.

The area between the Zoo and Bolton Road on Jan Smuts Avenue would be closed once the protest was underway, police said.

UNCLE OF SPEAR VANDAL TRAVELS FROM LIMPOPO TO SUPPORT PROTEST

The uncle of one of the men who defaced The Spear a week ago has travelled from Limpopo to Johannesburg to join the march against the work and was one of the first to arrive at the protest on Tuesday.

Stephen Sefofa, uncle of Louis Mabokela who was caught by television cameras smearing black paint across the work of President Jacob Zuma, said he came to Johannesburg to support the protest.

"An insult is an insult...let us be one," he said.

Sefofoa was speaking on behalf of his nephew who was with him at the march but deferred to his uncle when questioned by journalists.

Mabokela laid a charge of assualt against the security guard who subdued him in a struggle after he damaged the painting.

Paul Molesiwa, 36, appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court on Monday in connection with the assault.

In video footage of the incident Molesiwa can be seen headbutting and flipping Mabokela onto the ground where he cable ties his hands behind his back.

Sefofa said he was glad City Press had withdrawn the work and apologised.

A member of the public, Sipho Mweli, said he came from Mpumalanga to join the protest and to support President Jacob Zuma.

Around his neck he had hung a cardboard on which he had written, "Draw your white father naked not our president."

He said the placard was aimed at Brett Murray and he challenged him to draw a white man in the manner he has drawn Zuma.

Elijah Tauraza, also from Mpumalanga, said the painting was intended to belittle Zuma.

"How do you portray the president exposed when you have not seen him that way, even when he grew up?" he said.

The painting by Murray needed to be destroyed, he said.

"Keeping it in any form was an insult to Zuma and South Africans," he said.

The crowd at Zoo Lake numbered several hundred mid-morning. The group was singing liberation songs and dancing to music played over speakers on the back of a truck. - Sapa

Roshan Nebhrajani, The Times

JMPD spokesman Wayne Minnaar says police are ready and adequately prepared for the march.

Roshan Nebhrajani, The Times

An ANC member walked up and dowm Jan Smuts collecting posters that read OBEY with a pic of President Jacob Zuma's face on it and posters that had a rhino painted with a penis for a horn that said "Will u pay attention now". They were posted along Jan Smuts. She put them on the meridan and supporters here gathered around and burned them in a pile while shouting "Amandla".

@emque01
I think the painting of "The Spear" was a serious case of penis envy. Brett, deep down, wishes he was black #ANCmarch

@LeleMbinda
People in #JHB are marching to #GoodmanGallery against #TheSpear to zip an art... Don't we have real ussues like #ServiceDelivery #ANCMarch

@sheofnations
What makes people from Limpopo come to Joburg to march against the #Zumaspear, when kids don't have textbooks in Limpopo mid-year?Conundrum.

@Zukiswa
Police have a helicopter circling around Zoolake. We are waiting for the leadership to arrive. #ancmarch

@Vuksido
I've always imagined my life and the things I'd do in life and I'm afraid that marching for an old man's penis is not one of them #ANCmarch

@KayLobakeng
In a perfect world the ANC would have a team to deal with such unnecessary distractions and Zuma would actually get some work done #ANCMarch

@Pass1TJ
I have a degree and still unemployed, so Zuma's Penis is the last of my concerns. #SpearMarch #ANCmarch

GALLERY MARCHERS GATHER

Busloads of protesters were arriving at Zoo Lake in Johannesburg on Tuesday ahead of a march on the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank, police said.The growing crowd was clad in ANC colours and sang and danced to music blaring from speakers on the back of a bakkie.

Police and metro police officers would keep watch over the event, metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said.

The march is a protest against Brett Murray's "The Spear", which, until it was defaced last Tuesday, was on display at the Goodman Gallery. It showed President Jacob Zuma with genitals hanging out of his trousers.

About 15,000 people were expected to walk along Jan Smuts Avenue to Rosebank. Jan Smuts Avenue, between the Zoo and Bolton Road in Rosebank, would be closed until about midday, Minnaar said.

"Our officers are on duty and already out there ahead of the march," he said.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement earlier: "This protest will be used to advance the need for unity as a nation and to register a need for common and acceptable values.

"At the end of the march, the alliance will make important announcements following extensive interaction with all parties involved," he said.

On Monday Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said the gallery regretted the hurt caused by the painting's display.

"I had a meeting with the owner of the Goodman Gallery, Lisa Essers, who said she regrets the pain that the display of 'The Spear' had caused to Zuma, his family as well as to the nation," Mashatile said.

"She had no intention of hurting or upsetting anyone, but understood that it did hurt people and our nation. The piece was removed from the gallery." -Sapa

Roshan Nebhrajani, The Times
Small group of anc supporters now here (Goodman Gallery) - for logistical and managing purposes says keith khoza natl comm manager of the anc. March which was sch to begin at 9 has yet to start b/c anc supporters are still making their way to zoo lake.

ANC, GALLERY HELD 'CONSULTATIONS'

ANC and Goodman Gallery officials had "consultations" on the eve of a march to protest against a painting depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

"We are not in a position to deal with details now," African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu told SABC radio news.

"All we are prepared to say is, yes, indeed there have been consultations between the ANC and the Goodman Gallery last night and we are quite happy with the outcome of those consultations."

A strong police presence was expected outside the gallery in Tuesday. The march was organised to "advance the need for unity as a nation and to register a need for common and acceptable values", Mthembu said earlier.

"At the end of the march, the alliance will make important announcements following extensive interaction with all parties involved," he said.

The protest is against the "The Spear", a painting by Brett Murray, which was defaced last Tuesday. It was part of Murray's "Hail to the Thief II" exhibition on show at the gallery.

The march was expected to start from Zoo Lake park at 10am and proceed down Jan Smuts Avenue. About 15,000 protesters were expected, Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said. - Sapa

@Austin_Gege
May the #ANCmarch be the success the organizers are hoping it would be; and not turn into racial dividing anarchy! We need unity not discord

@Ciah_M
Pres Zuma in the face and leader of SA... You disrespect him, the whole nation is disrespected #ANCmarch

@TimesLIVEreport
61-year-old man says he's here because he's tired of the disrespect white people still show to black people #zumaspear

@mondemtsi
This #ANCmarch shud have happened when some1 suggested removing SA's Homosexuals' rights from the frikken Constitution. ANC acts very bias.‏

‏@Sentletse
Goodman Gallery has the black Jet Li on guard. #ANCmarch

Roshan Nebhrajani, The Times
10 Police and ambulance vehicles deployed at the Goodman Gallery.

@AdrianaStuijt
"OBEY ZUMA' poster stuck on wall across Goodman gallery http://twitpic.com/9qhtnd #ANCMarch

@violetmdluli
#ANCmarch makes me so angry dat ey r interfering w justice & wasting resources dat cld improve ppls lives.ey dnt care abt e ppl only power

@tshepo_madisha
i really think this whole painting was Zuma's idea to shift focus from his incompetency prior Mangaung #ANCmarch. #ZumaMustGo

@Jacanews
Just had a chat with police here. They're kitted in protective gear,yet not expecting any violence. #ZumaSpear march to #GoodmanGallery KL

@rmaclean
@702johnrobbie four packed busses already parked at zoo lake #zumaSpear

@MayleenVincent
Displayed in the window of The Goodman Gallery. #ANCMarch http://twitpic.com/9qhw1f

ANC March to Goodman Gallery

The ANC and its alliance partners will march to the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg on Tuesday to protest against a painting depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

"This protest will be used to advance the need for unity as a nation and to register a need for common and acceptable values," ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

"At the end of the march, the alliance will make important announcements following extensive interaction with all parties involved," he said.

The protest is against the 'The Spear', a painting by Brett Murray, which was that defaced last Tuesday.

It was part of Murray's "Hail to the Thief II" exhibition on show at the gallery.

Marchers would meet at Zoo Lake park at 8am and the march would start at 10am.

About 15,000 protesters were expected, said Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar. - Sapa

 

Zuma painting hearing resumes

A meeting of the Film and Publication Board to decide on the status of a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma is expected to continue on Tuesday.

A meeting of the Film and Publication Board to decide on the status of a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma is expected to continue on Tuesday.

Last week, the board sent a team of five classifiers to view and classify Brett Murray's painting "The Spear", which was on display at the Goodman Gallery, after several complaints.

The painting depicts Zuma with his genitals exposed. It was vandalised last Tuesday and has since been removed from the gallery, which has temporarily closed its doors to the public.

The committee intends classifying the painting in line with the Film and Publications Act.

On Wednesday, the board's CEO Yoliswa Makhasi recused herself from the classification hearing following a complaint by City Press editor Ferial Haffajee that she was biased.

The hearing itself was postponed because the parties to it had not been given enough time to prepare.

The media will be allowed conditional access to the hearing when it resumes.

The ANC and its alliance partners, the SA Communist Party and the Congress of SA Trade Unions, will march to the Goodman Gallery on Tuesday to protest against the painting. - Sapa

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