Advocate breaks down

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Johannesburg - African National Congress Advocate Gcina Malindi has broken down in the South Gauteng High court, where a full bench is hearing the African National Congress (ANC) application regarding the portrait depicting President Jacob Zuma in an offensive manner.

Advocate Malindi was arguing why the Goodman Gallery should remove the painting and also why the City Press newspaper should remove a photo of the painting from its website.

Before he broke down, Advocate Malindi was involved in an intense exchange with Judge Neels Claassen about the country's transition to democracy and became overcome with emotion. At this point, he put his hands on his chest and burst into tears.

The court has since adjourned.

Before the tea break this morning, Advocate Malindi argued that the painting infringed on the President's dignity. He sighted Section 10 of the Constitution which states that everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected.

"This is a dignity issue and that point has to be made because everyone has the right to dignity regardless of one's social standing in society," said Malindi.

He continued to argue that the portrait was unlawful and offensive.

The painting, titled The Spear, was part of Cape Town artist Brett Murray's exhibition, Hail to the Thief II, at the gallery. The ANC wants the gallery to remove the painting. It also wants the City Press newspaper to remove a photo of the painting from its website.

Scores of supporters of President Jacob Zuma have been gathering at the court since this morning. They are singing and dancing and are unanimous in their belief that the painting should be destroyed and removed from all social networking sites.

Inside the court is filled to capacity and also present is one of the President's daughters.

A stage has been set up outside the court so that the supporters can be kept abreast of the proceedings taking place in court 6E.