ANCWL: Artwork violates Zuma's right to humane treatment

Staff Reporter

The painting of Jacob Zuma displayed at Goodman Gallery should be removed as it is an expression of "pure prejudice", the ANCWL said on Saturday.

A portrait by satirical artist Brett Murray of President Jacob Zuma in the pose of Russian revolutionary and communist, Vladimir Lenin as seen online. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

The controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma displayed at Goodman Gallery should be removed as it is an expression of “pure prejudice”, the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) said on Saturday.

“It violates the integrity of the office of the president…and it violates his rights as an individual to humane and fair treatment,” spokesperson Troy Martens said in a statement.

“The alliance gender structures detest in the strongest possible terms the vulgar portrayal of the country’s president.”

The alliance gender structures, which met on Friday to discuss several issues, comprises of the ANCWL, the Congress of SA Trade Union’s gender committee and SA Communist Party Women’s League.

Martens said the painting was an insult to Zuma and all South Africans who are subjected to see their president portrayed in a sexual manner.

The alliance gender structure demanded that the painting be removed from the gallery and the internet.

Martens said the circulation of the image had caused humiliation to all patriotic South Africans.

Regarding the upcoming policy conference, the alliance structure was planning to hold a policy workshop on May 27 and 28 in Johannesburg.

The structure’s meeting also addressed criticism of Cosatu, made by ANCWL President Angie Motshekga.

“The ANCWL President indicated the comments emerged due to the sensitive issues surrounding the treatment of women in South Africa and the high rate of abuse and rape,” she said.

According to a report Cosatu members said during Tuesday’s Democratic Alliance protest in Johannesburg over a youth wage subsidy that they wanted to “strip Zille naked”.

They called Mazibuko “the madam’s sidekick”.

Motshekga criticised the “sexist and racist” insults of Cosatu members and told the Beeld newspaper that the DA had provoked Cosatu.

“However, Cosatu should not have behaved in such a militant fashion. It would have been better for them to simply accept the memorandum,” Motshekga was quoted as saying.

“What worries me more, is the sexism and racism that emerged. As an advocate of women’s rights, this upsets me. It’s unacceptable, and people should desist from this kind of thing.”

Cosatu explained that the stripping of Zille was meant in a political and ideological context and not a literal one, as a result of her posturing as a champion for the rights of the poor.

Martens said the league accepted Cosatu’s explanation. – Sapa

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