Controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu. Mabulu was on Wednesday arrested while displaying his artwork in front of the JSE. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips

** This story has been updated **

Johannesburg - Questions linger following the arrest of controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) on Wednesday afternoon.

Mabulu, best known for his paintings of former President Jacob Zuma and Nelson Mandela, was reportedly arrested while displaying his latest artwork "Blame it on the Boers" at the JSE and charged with public indecency and display of pornographic material in public. 

His painting was also allegedly confiscated. 

Spokesperson Sipha Kema confirmed Mabulu's arrest to IOL and the sequence of events leading up to the JSE incident. 

She explained that Mabulu had initially intended to stage the exhibition at Constitutional Hill but when this fell through following a dispute over the artwork, he decided to display it in front of the stock exchange. 

"The root of the problem is white monopoly capitalism... so the only way to [tackle this] is to go to the cause of the problem, which is the JSE.

"Markus Jooste, the companies he's involved in are listed at the JSE, but nothing has been done by anyone, why?" she said. 

Kema went on to question why Mabulu was arrested for this particular artwork, when he's done more controversial artwork in the past. 

Additionally, she questioned why the artwork was confiscated, saying this remained his property.

"How is he arrested for this particular painting? What about his other paintings, which were actually one of the most controversial. 

"Why was he arrested by law enforcement? It wasn't just questioning, he was held on two charges," she said.

Mabulu has reportedly since been released and it remains unclear when he's appear in court. 

Police have since denied to News24 that Mabulu had been arrested but said he was removed from where he was displaying his artwork as he did not have permission to display it there. 

IOL