Blade: destroy 'Spear' painting
The final destination of President Jacob Zuma's controversial The Spear portrait is in question following a call by the SA Communist Party for it to remain in South Africa so that it can be destroyed.
Yesterday, Communist Party general secretary Blade Nzimande said the painting by Brett Murray should be destroyed.
But yesterday, lawyers representing the Goodman Gallery reportedly shunned his call and said the defaced painting, which portrays Zuma with his genitals exposed, will be shipped to the German who bought it for R136000.
Speaking to thousands of supporters in front of the gallery yesterday, Nzimande called on the gallery not to sell the painting.
"We are saying, this insulting drawing of the president, we are saying to the Goodman Gallery, 'Don't sell it, it must not leave this country, it must remain here, it must be destroyed once and for good'.
"If we allow this drawing to go to this German person who has bought it, we are actually making our president the second Sarah Baartman.
"So this thing must not be sold, it is not worth anything, it belongs to the museum of shame in this country," he said.
Nzimande was accompanied by ANC heavyweights, including national executive committee members Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Tony Yengeni and secretary-general Gwede Mantashe, ANC Gauteng secretary David Makhura, and Cosatu leaders Sdumo Dlamini and Zwelinzima Vavi.
Yesterday, thousands of ANC supporters marched to the gallery in protest at the displaying of the painting, which they said violated Zuma's dignity.
After two weeks of public exchanges and an emotional court hearing, City Press editor Ferial Haffajee issued a public apology to Zuma's family, and yesterday removed a picture of the portrait from the newspaper's website.
On Monday night, the gallery apologised for displaying the painting after a meeting with Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile.
Shortly after submitting a memorandum of demands, Mantashe told ANC supporters that the gallery's representative had apologised, and had promised to remove the painting from the website "on the spot".
But the gallery's legal representatives said: "The statements made by the ANC spokesman during the march on the Goodman Gallery do not reflect the proposals made by the Goodman Gallery to the ANC in confidential negotiations which did not result in a settlement."
Mantashe later called off the boycott of City Press.
ANC supporters, many of whom were bused in from other provinces, gathered at Zoo Lake, Johannesburg, from the early hours of yesterday, with some displaying placards that read "Naked or not, Zuma for second term".
There was a heavy police presence prior to the march.
Zuma's son, Duduzane, 28, refused to speak to the media before he was whisked away in a black Mercedes Benz.
Emily Tollo, from Brits, in North West, was adamant that Brett Murray did not deserve forgiveness - even if he "repented".
"We're supporting Zuma because he's like our father, and the country's father. The portrait was inappropriate and [Murray] must get on a ship and go back to Europe, or wherever he's from," she said.
Before the march started, a small crowd of ANC supporters burned posters that had been pasted outside the gallery featuring a rhino painted in a style similar to that of The Spear but with the animal's horn replaced by a penis.
Mmapula Fisha, the Film and Publication Board's COO, said the board's classification committee would end its deliberations on the classification of The Spear. - Additional reporting by Sapa