ANCYL slams 'The Spear' march

There are more urgent matters than 'The Spear', the ANCYL said on Tuesday.

'The Spear' defaced. Picture: Gareth Brown/iWitness

JOHANNESBURG - The ANC was wrong to mobilise people to protest against 'The Spear' painting, the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) said on Tuesday.

It said there were far more pressing issues for the movement to be working on.

The ANCYL is the first organisation within the alliance to criticise the ANC's actions on the artwork.

Brett Murray's controversial portrait shows President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

Last week, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe announced that the Goodman Gallery would remove the portrait because of the "power in the streets".

He was addressing protesters outside the Rosebank gallery.

ANCYL deputy president Ronald Lamola said the ruling party's actions showed a "wrong set of priorities."

"Although we agree that [the image] was wrong and so forth, was it really a priority that to mobilise the whole society to march for 'The Spear'?."

Lamola said the move sent out the wrong message.

"What does it say about our priorities when we march about 'The Spear'? There are serious issues of service delivery all over the country."

The League is seen as hostile to Zuma and officials have publicly backed Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to lead the party.

The ANC's national elective conference will take place in Mangaung over December.