City Press’s editor, Ferial Haffajee, is publishing an open letter in Sunday’s edition in which she apologises to President Jacob Zuma’s daughter and her siblings for any harm and embarrassment caused by the newspaper’s publication of the Brett Murray portrait.

The ANC has called for people to boycott of the newspaper. On Saturday a City Press reporter covering the National Union of Mineworkers congress in Ekurhuleni was ordered out.

Last week Zuma’s daughter, Duduzile Zuma-Sambudla, made an emotional plea to the South Gauteng High Court to be admitted as one of the applicants in her father’s case against the Goodman Gallery and City Press.

She said she and her younger siblings could no longer “freely mingle with the public without a deep feeling of being ostracised by the demeaning discussions about my father’s private parts”.

On Saturday Haffajee said she was worried that vendors selling City Press newspapers could be harmed by people who supported the ANC’sboycott call.

She was also concerned that her reporter had been ordered to leave the NUM conference and newpapers were burnt during protest marches following the boycott call.

Haffajee told Weekend Argus that representatives of City Press would meet the Film and Publications Board on Tuesday about the publication of the Zuma portrait, and would hold similar meetings with the ANC.

Meanwhile the German art collector who bought the painting says he will not restore the work after it was defaced in the Goodman Gallery last week.

And he said he would collect it in person, it was reported on Saturday.

The painting, entitled The Spear, was the subject of a court battle last week when the ANC applied to have it taken off exhibition and an image of it removed from the City Press website.

The Saturday Citizen reported that Goodman Gallery director Liza Essers had spoken to the painting’s owner who said he wanted the work “as is”.

The collector bought the painting, valued at R136 000, earlier this month.

The newspaper quoted art specialist Phillippa Duncan saying the decision not to restore the painting was wise, as its value was likely to increase, given the political scandal and publicity surrounding it.

“Time is going to tell and it would be interesting to see if the owner will leave or restore it,” Duncan was quoted as saying about the painting.

Weekend Argus