IT WOULD not make sense to continue with a court case against Bretty Murray’s painting of President Jacob Zuma , the African National Congress said on Wednesday.
“Indeed, we are no longer taking the Goodman Gallery to court. We are no longer taking City Press to court,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu.
He was speaking at a joint media briefing between the ANC and the Goodman Gallery, announcing a settlement agreement on the controversial artwork.
Mr Mthembu said now that a settlement had been reached, the court action in the South Gauteng High Court was no longer necessary.
“There is no need for us to continue taking City Press to court, or the Goodman Gallery to court. It would not make sense,” said Mr Mthembu.
Goodman Gallery director Liza 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.
However, she said the image would be taken down from the website at some point.
On Tuesday ANC supporters marched to the Goodman Gallery over the controversial painting, The Spear. Party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe declared the march a “mission accomplished”.
The thousand-strong march kicked off at the Zoo Lake, with poster-carrying protesters bused in from as far afield as Mpumalanga.
It snaked its way through the suburb of Parkview, up Jan Smuts Avenue, which was closed to traffic for its duration, and halted outside the gallery in Rosebank.
Protesters sang and danced as they approached. Some took the opportunity to campaign for Mr Zuma ahead of his battle for a second term at the head of the ANC. “Naked or not, Zuma for second term: Mpumalanga,” read one placard.
The Goodman Gallery, in its response to the ANC memorandum, said it never intended causing hurt or harm to the dignity of anyone.
The ANC went to court to get the painting removed from the gallery, and also took 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 whether the painting should be classified.