Govt stands firm over coverage of court case

Friday, May 25, 2012

Pretoria - Government stood by its position that eNews censored visuals showing ANC Advocate Gcina Malindi breaking down during the court case over a painting of President Jacob Zuma, says Government Communication and Information System (GCIS).

It added that government had noted eNews' "opportunistic and disingenuous call" for the retraction of the GCIS statement issued yesterday with regards to "censoring the visuals that show the deep pain and emotion expressed by Advocate Gcina Malindi".

Government argued the censorship deprived South Africans of the opportunity to witness the culmination of the sentiment of humiliation and denigration of the dignity of Zuma, his office and the African culture that was shared by millions of South Africans.

"GCIS issued the statement long before the Judge made the announcement of the interdict that does not allow broadcast of Advocate Malindi's emotions. Government is disappointed that the Judge was also given incorrect information that the visual had been broadcast on eNews, when in fact it was never shown.

"In light of this, Government stands by its position that eNews indeed did censor the coverage ahead of the Judge's decision. GCIS will however respect the decision of the Judge," GCIS said.

The court case relating to the portrait depicting President Jacob Zuma in an offensive manner was adjourned yesterday.

The painting, titled The Spear, was part of Cape Town artist Brett Murray's exhibition, Hail to the Thief II, at the Goodman 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.

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