ANC Lashes Zuma Painting

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THE painting by Cape Town artist Ayanda Mabulu showing President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed is a mockery of the president's office, his status as a father and a husband, and is an absolute abuse of the arts, the ANC says.

"We condemn this painting in the strongest terms. Any portrayal of President Zuma in this way is disrespectful," ANC communications manager Keith Khoza said yesterday.

The ANC in the Eastern Cape said the painting was "an insult". "It hurts us to find this nasty painting especially after the painful incident involving one desperate fellow, Brett Murray, and the City Press," spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said. "One thing is for sure, a number of broke and uncreative individuals masquerading as artists insult the president by painting these clumsy things in search of quick cash."

Qoboshiyane said the new painting was an insult to Mabulu's parents.

"It means Mabulu's parents failed to raise him to be a respectful child," he said.

The painting, titled uMshini Wam (Weapon of Mass Destruction) is part of an exhibition called Our Fathers at the AVA gallery in the city where it is on display along with 40 other works. Included are works by Murray, who made headlines after his controversial painting The Spear, also showing Zuma's penis, led to protests at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg in May.

Mabulu, 29, expressed concern about the way people were interpreting the painting.

"This painting is not there to mock the president. It is there to pose a question, and what we are asking is how can you dance whereas people are dying of starvation," he said, referring to the question written on the top-right corner of the painting. …