Minister opens criminal case over Zuma ‘Spear’

2012-05-21 10:29
The ministry of justice is opening a case of crimen injuria with the police over Brett Murray’s painting of President Jacob Zuma.

The painting, titled The Spear, shows Zuma with exposed genitals.

Said Justice spokesperson Tlali Tlali: “The minister is carrying the instruction [to open the case] from the president to that effect.”

The painting, part of an exhibition titled Hail to the Thief II at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, will also be the subject of a court battle tomorrow at the South Gauteng High Court after the ANC argued that it violated Zuma’s right to dignity and made a mockery of his office.

The ANC and Zuma are seeking a court order to force the Goodman Gallery and the City Press website to remove the portrait.

Zuma said he was “shocked, and felt personally offended and violated” when he saw a copy of the painting for the first time.

The painting, which has divided public opinion in the country, depicts him as “a philanderer, a womaniser and one with no respect”, said Zuma.

City Press reported that the painting had been sold for R136 000 to a German buyer.

[View the story "ANC goes to court over Zuma’s jewels" on Storify]