Kenny Kunene stands outside the Goodman Gallery yesterday after saying he is willing to pay three times more for The Spear painting by Brett Murray that was bought for R136 000 by a German man.Kenny wants to buy it to burn it because he feels the painting undermines the dignity of men but of black people in particular. Picture:Paballo Thekiso

Kenny Kunene is ready to splash out almost half a million rand to destroy the controversial Spear painting.

The Joburg businessman is hoping to persuade the owner of The Spear, a German, to part with the painting so he can burn the painting before it leaves the country.

The painting, which was bought for R136 000, is scheduled to be shipped off to Germany in the next few weeks. however, Kunene says he is willing to double or even triple the amount paid for the controversial piece of art.

The 41-year-old said he had been left “disgusted” by the piece of artwork, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, as a “pornographic” piece of art that has no place in SA.

“Democracy has gone too far this time,” said Kunene. “Our president, who is a father and grandfather, has been insulted in the worst way possible. Nobody is allowed to display the president’s private parts. If this happened in other African and Arab countries, the artist as well as the gallery owner would be behind iron bars now.”

Kunene said he could not wait to burn the painting.

“I am in full agreement with my comrade, Blade Nzimande, when he said the painting should never leave the country, so I hope that I can get my hands on it before it gets shipped out.

“The painting must die like apartheid did, so that everyone in South Africa can live peacefully together.

“If the gallery does sell me the painting, I plan to invite South Africans of all races to join me in the burning of The Spear.

“We can use that nice warm fire to enjoy a braai afterward.”

Kunene described the painting as a political mockery of SA’s Struggle.

“I have seen the rest of Murray’s exhibition on TV and I have to say that all of it is insulting. I will never set foot in the Goodman Gallery. The owner of the gallery is as liable as the artist.

“I will blame everyone, including the person who was asked to put up the painting, because he played a part in displaying this nasty piece of artwork.”

He added that he felt heartbroken for Zuma’s children and grandchildren. “I can’t imagine what they are going through,” said Kunene.

“Which kid would ever like to see their father painted so disrespectfully,” he asked.

Asked what he thought of a foreigner purchasing the painting, Kunene said he believed the German man bought the artwork to “mock” South Africans.

“He either bought the painting to make money out of it, or he bought it to laugh at us South Africans.

“In the very same way that the Europeans laughed at us Africans when they saw pictures of Sarah Baartman.”

Kunene also has a challenge for artist Brett Murray. “If the artist did the painting for money, I challenge him to paint me with my d**k out, just leave our beloved president alone.”

Meanwhile, the Goodman Gallery has confirmed that the painting will be shipped out of the country soon. “We have already contacted the owner … although I cannot put a date on when it will be shipped,” said spokeswoman Lara Koseff. - Saturday Star