Defaced 'Spear' fate to be decided

All parties affected by President Jacob Zuma’s defaced portrait saga will meet on Tuesday afternoon.

The defaced President Jacob Zuma portrait. Picture: Stephen Grootes/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There have been scuffles, a court hearing, defacement and police requests to confiscate the Goodman Gallery's President Jacob Zuma painting on Tuesday.

Two men have been arrested after defacing the portrait that depicts Zuma with his genitals exposed.

Police asked to take the picture as evidence, and there are still discussions on where the image will be kept.

Meanwhile, the South Gauteng High Court said three judges would hear Zuma's application to ban the painting.

The judges will also hear argument from his children, and a BBC reporter who was able to record sound from the two men that defaced the picture in the gallery.

Protesters who gathered outside the court said they will continue supporting Zuma in his bid to have the painting removed.

Demonstrators who gathered outside a make-shift stage on Pritchard Street, Johannesburg said the painting is just unacceptable.

"It is art but it is ugly art because it undermines President Jacob Zuma," one demonstrator said.

The supporters vowed to come back in greater numbers on Thursday when the court proceedings continue.

"[Zuma] must know that he is not alone and we are supporting him."

Furthermore, the Film and Publication Board (FPB) confirmed it is meeting with the City Press and Goodman Gallery on Tuesday evening to discuss the matter.

The FPB visited the gallery on Monday to assess whether the painting should be classified as pornographic.

The board's spokesperson Mlimandlela Ndamase said they received meeting requests from the City Press and Goodman Gallery lawyers respectively.

"They will make a representation to the committee that will classify that painting."

After the representations, the board will make its decision on the future of the portrait.