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'The Spear' case to get underway

Dozens of ANC supporters are in court to show their support for President Jacob Zuma.

'The Spear' vandalised. Picture: eNews

JOHANNESBURG - It appears that dozens of supporters of President Jacob Zuma have heeded calls by the ANC to attend court proceedings to hear arguments in 'The Spear' painting matter.

Courtroom 6E of the South Gauteng High Court is filled to capacity, with Zuma's children among those in the gallery.

Three judges will hear Zuma's application to have Brett Murray's painting depicting him with his genitals exposed removed from the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

The painting has been moved since it was vandalised on Tuesday. Two men, Barend la Grange and Louis Mabokela, vandalised the painting in separate incidents, though just moments apart, on Tuesday.

La Grange sprayed red pain on Zuma's face and genitals, while Mabokela threw black paint on Murray's work.

Meanwhile, a stage has been set up outside the court where protesters have gathered, so ANC officials can update them on proceedings happening inside court.

Protesters are energetic singing and dancing to the music that is blaring from the makeshift stage.

Some demonstrators say the image of the president, with his genitals exposed, must be burnt and even removed from social networking sites.

The two men who were arrested for vandalising 'The Spear' were released on R1,000 bail each.

They claim they were not working together.

A third man was also arrested after he wrote "respect" on the walls of the gallery.

He was also released on R1,000 bail.

They will appear in court on 28 June.

ZUMA LEGAL CHALLENGE

On Tuesday, Gauteng Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo decided a full bench of three judges would hear the case.

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

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

At the same time, Brett Murray is also going to be allowed to argue along with the gallery that his work should still be exhibited.