‘The Spear’ case makes international news

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iol news pic zuma painting defacers IOL Two men stand accused of defacing a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma.


Developments surrounding Brett Murray's painting “The Spear” depicting President Jacob Zuma made it into the international media, including The UK Guardian and the Huffington Post's websites, on Friday.

“The ANC, which in the past has been criticised for remaining silent in the face of corruption, its own people dying from Aids, and human rights violations in Zimbabwe, whipped up opposition to The Spear, putting a logo on its website homepage that says: 'President Zuma has a right to human dignity and privacy',” according to The Guardian.

“The Spear saga has pushed all the buttons that inflame emotions and headlines in South Africa's national discourse,” it reads.

Big Think asked: “Could someone die over this painting?

“Art isn't usually a life or death matter, but the controversy over South African artist Brett Murray's The Spear might end in bloodshed,” the story went.

The Huffington Post described advocate Gcina Malindi's breakdown in the High Court in Johannesburg, as he defended Zuma and the ANC's argument that images of the painting should be banned.

“Malindi, who is black, said that many blacks still lived in poverty after the end of apartheid in 1994. He then sobbed. His colleagues rushed to put their arms around his shoulders,” reads their report from the Associated Press.

“The painting has pitched culture and tradition against constitutional rights. It has polarised a nation...” reads an article on www.cnn.com.

Describing the protesting crowd outside the High Court in Johannesburg, the packed courtroom, Malindi's breakdown, and the postponement to a date to be decided, their reporter wrote: “It was not to be a cut-and-dried case.”

The Al Jazeera website told the story mostly through posts of other people's tweets from inside and outside the court on Thursday.

The Times of India reported on the defacing of the painting, eliciting some comments from readers, including Siddiharth Pathak of Allahabad, who said: “People cross their line in the garb of freedom of expression”.

“Vamsi” of India, posted this comment: “If they don't like the painting, they should protest, but destroying the art is not correct.”

The Herald in Zimbabwe, The Times of Swaziland and The Namibian had not posted on Thursday's developments by early Friday. - Sapa

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