ANC to march to gallery

A meeting of the Film and Publication Board to decide on the status of a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma is expected to continue on Tuesday.

Last week, the board sent a team of five classifiers to view and classify Brett Murray's painting “The Spear”, which was on display at the Goodman Gallery, after several complaints.

FILE PHOTO: A large crowd of ANC supporters gathered outside the High Court in Johannesburg last week to support a legal attempt to remove a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma from the Goodman Gallery. Photo: Barry McCallum, IOL. Credit: IOL

The painting depicts Zuma with his genitals exposed. It was vandalised last Tuesday and has since been removed from the gallery, which has temporarily closed its doors to the public.

The committee intends classifying the painting in line with the Film and Publications Act.

On Wednesday, the board's CEO Yoliswa Makhasi recused herself from the classification hearing following a complaint by City Press editor Ferial Haffajee that she was biased.

The hearing itself was postponed because the parties to it had not been given enough time to prepare.

The media will be allowed conditional access to the hearing when it resumes.

Meanwhile, the ANC and its alliance partners will march to the Goodman Gallery to protest against the painting.

"This protest will be used to advance the need for unity as a nation and to register a need for common and acceptable values," ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.

"At the end of the march, the alliance will make important announcements following extensive interaction with all parties involved," he said.

Marchers would meet at Zoo Lake park at 8am and the march would start at 10am.

About 15 000 protesters were expected, said Johannesburg metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar. - Sapa