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Portrait vandalism case postponed

The men claim their actions were not politically motivated.

Barend le Grange in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 23 May 2012, accused of defacing 'The Spear'. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN"
President Jacob Zuma,ANC,The Spear,Zuma portrait,Barend la Grange,Buti Manamela,Louis Mabokela,Bhuti Manamela Young Communist League
Local

JOHANNESBURG - The case against two men who defaced a painting of President Jacob Zuma was postponed to June for further investigations.

Barend la Grange and Louis Mabokela appeared briefly at the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the two men were caught smearing paint on Brett Murray’s artwork at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg.

The controversial portrait shows Zuma with his genitals exposed.

The case was initially meant to be heard at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, but after a two hour delay, lawyers for the accused announced that the men would appear in Hillbrow.

La Grange and Mabokela appeared calm as they stood in the dock.

Speaking to journalists, la Grange described himself as a political commentator, but said his actions had nothing to do with any political party or organisation.

The two men claim they do not know each other.

The case will resume on June 28.

Meanwhile, a security guard at the Goodman Gallery has been arrested for assaulting Mabokela.

REACTION:

National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) President Senzeni Zokwana on Wednesday said Cosatu must lead a march to the Goodman Gallery.

The union claims the ‘The Spear’ painting is a simple expression of racism.

Zokwana also expressed concern over how Mabokela was treated by a security guard.

"What was done to the black person, by a black person, was appalling to see. Maybe that guy [the security guard] was showing his master that he can deal with blacks.”

He also called for urgent judicial reforms.

Meanwhile, the Young Communist League (YCL) said they will still march to the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank on Thursday.

The League’s Buti Manamela said protesters will "finish what the two men started".

“As far as things stand, the march is still going ahead as planned.”

He said demonstrators will march to the Constitutional Court before they make their way to the gallery.

The Goodman Gallery closed its doors following the violence and the painting was moved to an undisclosed location.

(Edited by Zethu Zulu & Thato Motaung)

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