The African National Congress has noted with regret the latest painting by Ayanda Mabulu which portrays President Jacob Zuma in a supposedly sexual act with our late President Comrade Nelson Mandela.
Whilst we respect Mabulu's freedom of expression, we find his work grotesque, inflammatory and of bad taste. No matter what message he may want to send to President Zuma and the African National Congress, we view his work as crossing the bounds of rationality to degradation, exploiting the craft of creative art for nefarious ends. More concerning is his callous abuse of our icon, the late founding president of democratic South Africa.
Such vulgarity and disdain for the dignity of others is crude, demeaning, derogatory and markedly makes the point that no freedoms, including the freedom of expression, are unlimited. Accordingly, the ANC reserves its right to seek recourse through the criminal justice system as well as the institutions set up to promote and protect the fundamental human rights of all in South Africa.
Having noted social media outrage generated by Mabulu's sustained personal attacks of the President, we urge all South Africans to remain calm and ignore this graffiti as an instrument of division rather than nation building. Our task must be to confront and challenge delinquency, masquerading as art, that does nothing to strengthen our moral fibre or the values our society holds dear. We cannot and must not allow such crassness to be used to insult our sensibilities as a nation.
The ANC will leave it to psychoanalysts and scholars of art to debate Mabulu's narcissistic obsession with the phallus and human genitalia in general.
Issued by the African National Congress