Protestors outside the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank. They gathered at the gallery in protest against Brett Murray's "The Spear", which, until it was defaced last Tuesday, was on display there. It showed President Jacob Zuma with genitals hanging out of his trousers. Photo: Sapa

The protest against The Spear painting of Zuma was slow to start on Tuesday as buses from far-flung areas continued to arrive in Joburg carrying supporters of President Jacob Zuma.

Buses from Mpumalanga and Limpopo arrived at Zoo Lake early on Tuesday. Some protesters said they had slept overnight at the park in anticipation of the march on the Goodman Gallery in Rosebank.

The march is to protest the exhibition of the painting by artist Brett Murray showing Zuma's genitals.

On Tuesday representatives of the All African Federation of Churches, dressed in purple religious attire, said they were joining the protest because they felt the painting dehumanised Zuma.

“We are here to reconcile the country. There is a lot that needs to be corrected,” said the church's Archbishop Qwetha.

The march was scheduled to start at 10am but roads in Rosebank were still open at 11am. Helicopters monitored the protest, which was three city blocks long by 11.30.

The area between the Zoo and Bolton Road on Jan Smuts Avenue would be closed once the protest was underway, police said. – Sapa