Mail and Guardian

A giant “X” has been painted over Brett Murray’s The Spear, defacing the controversial artwork that depicts the president with his genitals exposed.

According to e.News, the painting in the Goodman gallery in Johannesburg was defaced as the court case in which the ANC sought to compel the gallery to remove the artwork began in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

Eyewitnesses told the Mail & Guardian that two men painted an “X” over the figure’s face and smeared the face and private parts with black and red paint. They were apparently locked in the guards hut and the police have just arrived.

The gates of the gallery were then locked.ANC spokesperson Jackosn Mthembu said the court case would proceed regardless.  Read more…


A controversial painting showing South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma with his genitals hanging out has been vandalised in an art gallery.

The BBC’s Andrew Harding at the gallery in Johannesburg said a man covered the art work in black and red paint

It comes as the governing ANC was asking the High Court to force the Goodman Gallery to remove the painting.

The $14,000 (£9,000) 1.85m-high Soviet-style, red black and yellow acrylic painting had already been sold.

Called The Spear, the painting is by Brett Murray, who is known for his political and provocative work.

President Zuma’s head and his genital area have now been obscured by red and black paint.

Our correspondent says he saw one man wielding the paint brush, who was then pounced on by security guards and head-butted at one point.

Another man was also identified as being behind the attack.

“I’m doing this because the painting is disrespectful to President Zuma,” one of the men told the BBC.