Gallery to remove portrait from its website

The Goodman Gallery has agreed to remove ‘The Spear’ from its website.

ANC members in support of President Jacob Zuma sing and dance in Zoo Lake, before marching to the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 29 May, 2012. They are angry that the gallery exhibited a painting with the presidents genitals exposed. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Goodman Gallery has agreed to remove 'The Spear' portrait from its website, ANC Secretary Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

ANC officials at the gallery told protesters that all members of the party were offended by the insulting portrait of President Jacob Zuma.

Brett Murray's controversial artwork shows the president with his genitals exposed.

Mantashe also said South Africans can start buying the City Press again, after he called for a boycott last week.

The ruling party wanted the publication to remove the painting from its website.

In an about turn on Monday,_ City Press_ editor Ferial Haffajee announced that the picture would be removed from its site.

On Tuesday, the ANC handed over a memorandum to the Johannesburg-based gallery.

Earlier, protesters said they would force the institution to closed down if the controversial image was not removed.

Young Communist League (YCL) leader Buti Manamela said they will not stop until the image is removed.

"We categorically state that if the gallery doesn't remove the art, which is an insult to our movement, we will close it down."

Hundreds of demonstrators sang and danced a few metres away from the gallery.

They marched from Zoo Lake to the gallery without incident.

Members of the police's Tactical Response Unit lined up to create a barrier between protesters and the gallery.

Officials said nobody will be allowed near the premises.

Meanwhile, some ANC members said they want the image to be handed over to them so they can destroy it.

They said they cannot allow a German national, who bought the picture, to take ownership of it.