'Indecent' Zuma painting difficult to ban: judgeBy AFP | Thursday, May 24 2012 at 16:01
South African President Jacob Zuma's bid to ban a painting in which his genitals are exposed on Thursday suffered a setback with a court saying it would not be easy to enforce any order.
Satirical artist Brett Murray's depiction of Mr Zuma in a Vladimir Lenin pose -- branded "indecent" by Zuma's ruling African National Congress -- was vandalised on Tuesday amid a national furore.
The party on Thursday went ahead with a court application against the artist, the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg that displayed it and the City Press newspaper which published a picture, despite the gallery closing and removing the work.
But judges were not convinced that a ban would work.
"This image is already out there on the Internet," said Judge Fayeeza Kathree-Setiloane.
If a permanent interdict was granted that forbade the display of the painting or copies of it, "how will this court monitor compliance?" she asked a packed court that included several of Zuma's children and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
Opponents say the artist's depiction of Mr Zuma is racist and an insult to the president, while supporters justify the painting on grounds of freedom of expression protected by the country's constitution.
The Goodman Gallery closed indefinitely on Tuesday after two protesters smeared red and black paint over parts of the painting showing Mr Zuma's face and genitals. The pair appeared in court of Wednesday.
Outside the court a few hundred ANC supporters wearing the party's green, gold and black colours sang and danced, while the trial was broadcast on a big screen.
Police cordoned off roads around the building and former ANC armed wing soldiers and riot police guarded the entrance.
Should Kenya spend $8.2 million to acquire an office for retired President Kibaki?speak out
Read Story: Should Kenya spend $8.2 million to acquire an office for retired President Kibaki?
- Kenyan call girls go high-tech
- Former Senegal First Lady on emotional visit to jailed son
- The girl who met Gaddafi 'in hell'
- Tanzania innovator lands $300,000
- Kenya kicks out Nigerians and all hell breaks loose
- Kikwete's big spat with Rwanda
- Nigerian deportee demands pay for Kenyan officials' release
- Tanzania voted Africa’s best safari country
- Nile saga: Ethiopia and Egypt now favour dialogue
Beyond the ballot