Court hearing resumes

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pretoria - A full bench of the South Gauteng High Court has resumed hearing the African National Congress (ANC) application regarding the portrait depicting President Jacob Zuma in an offensive manner.

Before the tea break this morning, ANC Advocate Gcina 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.

Judge Neels Classen questioned Adv Malindi about exactly what remedy the ANC and the President were seeking. He said that the portrait was already on major social networking websites, and even if it was removed from the City Press website, it had gone viral on other websites and its distribution was already vast.

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.