South Africans are outraged after a national artist depicted the country’s president, Jacob Zuma, in a Lenin-style photo with one crucial addition– the president’s genitals are fully exposed.
Lambasting his reputation for promiscuity– the president has twenty-one children by six different wives– the picture is also meant to highlight corruption endemic in the government, according to reports.
Though the painting, titled “The Spear,” was recently defaced and removed from the gallery, the African National Congress (ANC) is still calling on South Africans to protest.
“The march called by the ANC is a protest against the continued display and exhibition in that gallery’s websiteof an insulting portrait of president Jacob Zuma,” said the ANC’s national spokesperson Jackson Mthembu. “It is also meant to condemn the defacing of an ANC logo with an inscription ‘FOR SALE’ and ‘SOLD’ as it continues to be displayed in that gallery.
“We believe all these actions by the gallery are not only a violation of the right to dignity of [comrade] president Jacob Zuma, but are a clear and calculated attack on the ANC. We therefore again call on all South Africans, members and supports of the ANC and our alliance partners to come and register their outrage at this insult and attack on our president and the ANC,” the spokesperson continued.
According to CNN an impressive 15,000 people were due to turn up for the protest, but the Associated Press is reporting that the gallery capitulated and removed the image from its website after the arrival of only 2,000.
Meanwhile, the opposition party has branded the work, “a brilliant work of political satire” and “an instant icon.”
Here is video of the piece being defaced: