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'The Spear' defaced

'The Spear' has been defaced by unknown men at the Goodman Gallery.

A man defaces the controversial portrait of President Jacob Zuma. Picture: eNews
President Jacob Zuma,Jacob Zuma,The Spear,Goodman Gallery,Brett Murray,Jacob Zumas court
Local

The controversial Jacob Zuma portrait will remain at the Goodman Gallery after it was defaced, police and officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Authorities wanted to remove the artwork to use it as evidence after it was defaced.

A scuffle was also reported outside the Johannesburg-based gallery, when a man sprayed paint on the wall.

“They must respect our leaders. We will fight forever for the respect of our people. That [President Zuma] is a father,” one suspect said.

Earlier on Tuesday, two unknown men defaced the controversial painting which shows Zuma with his genitals exposed.

Caught on an eNews Channel camera, the first man took a small can of red paint and slowly marked two large 'X' symbols over the genitals and the face with a paintbrush.

After a while, another man with a small can of black paint smeared the painting using his hands.

Footage showed security forcefully cuffing the men with cable ties after the painting had been defaced.

eNews journalist Iman Rappetti witnessed the incident, “Suddenly I see him whip out a can of red paint and a paint brush and he draws an ‘X' over the genital area.

“He had a smile on his face which also appeared bizarre to me. Then he painted an ‘X’ on the president’s face and I realised something was wrong, so I apprehended him and asked ‘What are you doing?’

The men were detained by security.

YCL RESPONDS

Young Communist League (YCL) leader Buti Manamela said the pair should be applauded for their actions.

He said the YCL was not behind Tuesday’s incident.

Manamela said his members will march to the Goodman Gallery on Wednesday to remove the controversial picture.

The YCL is busy finalising details of the march.

COURT CASE:

Dozens of protestors gathered outside the South Gauteng High Court after Zuma took the gallery and the City Press newspaper to court.

Gauteng Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo decided that a full bench of three judges will now hear the case on Thursday.

He said the decision was made because of the huge national importance attached to the issue.

Zuma's children have also been allowed to intervene in the case.

Artist Brett Murray will also be allowed to argue along with the gallery.

At the same time, eNews has been allowed to broadcast from the courtroom when the proceedings begin on Thursday morning.

To view Zuma's legal documents, click here.

Please note:
The men have not yet been identified.

An earlier EWN story erroneously identified one of the men as a TUT art lecturer. This is not the case. We regret the error.

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