Goodman: ANC to drop 'The Spear' case

Demonstrators marched to the gallery on Tuesday to protest against "The Spear". (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Demonstrators marched to the gallery on Tuesday to protest against "The Spear". (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

“The applicants will withdraw the application currently before the South Gauteng High Court,” said Goodman Gallery director Liza Essers, reading from a settlement agreement it had reached with the ruling ANC.

Essers said the painting would not be displayed in the gallery because it had been defaced.

The settlement agreement with the ANC did not include an agreement on removing the picture from the Goodman Gallery’s website.

But she said the image would be taken down from the website at some point.

Essers added that the painting has been sold to its German buyer.

“The collector does want the painting in its defaced form,” she confirmed.

The ANC went to court to get the painting removed from the gallery, and also took the City Press to court because it had published a picture of the painting on its website.

Meanwhile, the Film and Publications Board was expected to decide by the end of the week on whether the painting should be classified.

On Tuesday, a battle of semantics erupted over the apparent apology the ANC received regarding the publishing and exhibition of the painting by Brett Murray.

During a protest march on the Goodman Gallery on Tuesday, the ANC claimed it received an apology from the gallery.

“They have written to us to say they appreciate the pain and suffering inflicted by this painting. Only one thing is outstanding with the Goodman Gallery, they must remove that painting from their website.

“In all the things we have demanded, that is the only thing that remains,” ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told thousands of supporters gathered on Jan Smuts Avenue, in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Mantashe said the City Press had also apologised.

“The City Press has removed that image from their website, apologised publicly to the Zuma family and have thus met with what we requested they do,” Mantashe said.

Mantashe also claimed the gallery had undertaken to remove the painting from its website.

The ruling party argues the artwork, which depicts President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed, violates his right to privacy and dignity. – Sapa

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