A visitor to the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg photographs an acrylic on canvas painting entitled "The Spear" depicting President Jacob Zuma, by South African artist Brett Murray, Friday, May 18, 2012. South Africa's governing party said it will demand the removal of the painting from the exhibition. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

The Goodman Gallery has denied that it agreed to remove the controversial The Spear painting from its website.

This is despite ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe announcing to supporters outside the gallery this afternoon that the painting would be removed.

The gallery's lawyers are understood to have said that the agreement struck with the ANC did not include removing the painting from the gallery's website.

A number of journalists tweeted, shortly after Mantashe announced the “victory”, that there was in fact no settlement.

Stephen Grootes tweeted: “#ZumaSpear So the gallery says no settlement yet. Still trying to work things out. ANC not aware of Goodman statement, examining it now.”

Mandy Wiener of Eye Witness News also tweeted: “Gallery: The statements made by the ANC do not reflect the proposals made in confidential negotiations which did not result in a settlement.”

The M&G's Phillip de Wet tweeted that the written Goodman statement had come “via the gallery's lawyers at #FPBSpear hearing”. - IOL