“The Spear versus The Shield”

Posted: 09/07/2012 in Politics

The recent past weeks displayed just how South Africa has been pretenders to the “rainbow nation” throne. Much as we’d like to fool ourselves into thinking that apartheid-era is long gone, the reality is that, it still is in existence and there is still a lot to be done and unfortunately there are some elements that won’t subscribe to change even if it was their last breath on this planet – earth.

First it was the models-wanna-be on social networks hurling insults towards other races then there were paintings, which went to prove just how some of our artists would go far into misinterpreting “freedom of speech”.

Goodman Gallery started all this commotion by displaying Brett Murray’s-artistic work depicting President Jacob Zuma’s genitalia. The gallery owner saw nothing wrong with that and cited “freedom of expression” as her reason. Unfortunately his didn’t go down with majority and caused division, two males were arrested and later granted bail after they both defaced the painting.

A few days later another drawing believed to be a response to ”the spear” named “the shield” by Nqobile Ndlovu surfaced in it appeared the owner of Goodman Gallery Liza Essers, Boer General Koos de la Rey, DA leader Helen Zille, Eugene Terre’Blanche and cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (aka Zapiro) while an African inspect their naked bodies.

Our country is never short of drama – when the ruling party approached the High Court for the picture to be removed. The president’s lawyer, advocate Gcina Malindi broke down in tears as he tried to answer Judge Neels Claassen’s question on “what if it was FW de Klerk’s face on the painting and to what effect the request to remove the images on the website would have, as they had already been displayed everywhere”?

In a fit of rage and retaliation the ruling party urge its supporters to boycott a weekend newspaper; (personally, I believe this is abuse of power) and this saw the editor retracting her statement and later followed his paper by withdrawing the picture from their website.


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