Goodman Gallery should apologise to the nation – CRLRC | by Pheagane Moreroa

by Jun 4, 2012All Articles

Commission says Brett Murray’s portrait undermines office of President Jacob Zuma
CRL Rights Commission concern with the controversial potrait of President Jacob Zuma titled “The Spear” by Brett Murray displayed at Goodman gallery
The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities is deeply concerned and disappointed in the manner that some of our creativity artists are consistently portraying and undermining the office of the state president, Mr Jacob Zuma.
As stated in the previous statement objecting to Zapiro’s shower, the Commission is of the view that the office of the president ought to be respected and protected by its entire citizens including the community of creative artists. We further encourage our creative artists to comply with the laws of the country and recall that everyone has inherent dignity, and the right to have their dignity respected and protected including all leaders of the government and its officials.
We have further noted that the freedom of artistic creativity as stipulated by the Bill of Rights does have limitation clauses and in these instances we ought to avoid advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.
The preamble of our Constitution pledges
“to honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land;
“Respect those who worked to build and develop our country;
More than the above, however, is the reason for the adoption of our Constitution which was to
“Heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights;”
Among the Founding Provisions state is one that mentions the following value specifically
“[human] dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms”.
The Bill of Rights affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
The Commission would like to call upon the Goodman Gallery and the fellow artist concerned to withdraw the portrait from public viewing, engage the affected parties concerned, offer public apology to the nation and the office of the President so as to promote respect for tolerance and mutual understanding during this significant Africa month.
In the interests of nation building, the CRL Rights Commission calls on all people concerned to desist from acts that would engender hatred and more divisions. Whilst thanking the media people of our country for most of the good work they do, we call upon them to act responsibly and not to assist acts that could easily open wounds of the recent past.
The reasons that the CRL Rights Commission advanced to Zapiro’s “shower cartoon” are still applicable would still apply in this instance.
Statement issued by Adv Moreroa, Chief Executive Officer, Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, May 21 2012
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