Cleric ordered to retract ‘stoning’ comment

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brett murray Ex-QDMS (File image) Artist Brett Murray. Photo: Brenton Geach

The High Court in Johannesburg has ordered Nazareth Baptist church spokesman Enoch Mthembu to retract a call to stone artist Brett Murray to death, The Times reported on Thursday.

Mthembu has five days to retract the statement in public.

Murray's lawyer, Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti, said the interdict restrained Mthembu from stating Murray should be stoned to death or physically harmed in any way.

“If Mthembu does not apologise he would be in contempt of court and might also face arrest. The judge granted the order against Mthembu, not the church,” Ampofo-Anti said.

Mthembu told the daily he would not apologise.

“Where in the world can you find a person disrespecting the president in that way? He (Murray) should be the first one to apologise. I will never do that. He is too arrogant.”

Mthembu called for Murray to be stoned for his artwork “The Spear”, which depicts Zuma with his genitals exposed.

The ANC was set to argue in the High Court in Johannesburg on Thursday for an urgent interdict to get the painting – which has since been defaced by two people – removed from the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. It also wants the City Press newspaper to remove a photo of the painting from its website. – Sapa


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