Members of South Africa’s African National Congress Women’s League on Friday marched in Pretoria in protest over a painting depicting a naked President Jacob Zuma receiving oral sex.
The League said the march was to defend the president’s honour in light of the controversial painting by Ayanda Mabulu.
“We condemn the denigration of the image of President Zuma by so-called artists. For example, the portrayal of the president’s genitals in the mouth of a woman.
“The country was silent and even failed to condemn the imagery of violence against women,” complained the Women’s League in a statement.
The League insisted President Zuma deserved more respect from people as the leader of the country.
“Zuma is the face of the ANC and our country. He needs respect,” League president Bathabile Dlamini said.
The marchers, predominantly clothed in ANC colours, ululated and blew whistles as they sang, “Zuma, I love you so much!”
The march comes barely three days after the president’s son, Edward, launched a passionate and strongly-worded defence of his father over the Mabulu painting.
Said Zuma Junior: “Over the past three years, as a family we have endured humiliation that cannot be described as result of pornographic material aimed at tarnishing the image of my father and the president of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa J.G. Zuma.”
He warned the artist: “My message to Ayanda Mabulu is that President J.G. Zuma is a parent and [we are] prepared to even defend him physically if need be.”
In recent years a number of paintings have been produced depicting the president’s genitals, sparking outrage in many quarters plus heated debate over freedom of expression vis-a-vis respect for the rights of individuals.
The artist has defended himself saying he created the artwork because he wanted to depict how he believes the president is running the country.
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW