City Press editor Ferial Haffajee on Sunday apologised for the hurt caused by the paper's publishing of a portrait of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, but refused to remove the image from the paper's website.

Haffajee addressed Zuma's daughter Duduzile in her column, saying: “I understand that what is a work of satire to me is a portrait of pain to you.”

Zuma's children could face teasing as a result of the paper's actions.

“And if they and your dad saw the work in our pages and it caused harm, then I apologise from the bottom of my heart,” she said.

“Would I publish the image again knowing what I do now? Probably not,” she admitted, as the depiction of black genitals was still controversial in South Africa.

She had considered placing a “strategic flower” over the part of the image which had caused offence.

However, after the ANC called on its followers to boycott the paper, she changed her mind.

The ANC was no longer a party of ideas and debate. Rather, its leaders were pursuing their own ambitions, she said.

“I’d like to play my role, but if I respond to fear, insult, demands to remove an item of journalism, threats and intimidation, then what role will I be playing to make ours the best possible world for your little brothers and sisters, and all the children for whom we are making a future?” she asked. - Sapa