The African National Congress appreciates that the display of the Spear portrait by Brett Murray at the Goodman Gallery has caused hurt and pain to many South Africans. We are also fully cognisant of the fact that this offensive painting has also been an insult, disrespectful and indecent to the image, integrity and the stature of the President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma. It is also our contention that this painting has violated the right to human dignity of the President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, all members and supporters of the ANC and all fellow South Africans.
The pain and the hurt of the past two weeks caused by the Spear portrait as expressed above is now fully appreciated by the Goodman Gallery and the Artist, Brett Murray. Both say. “it was never the Goodman Gallery’s nor Brett Murray’s intention to hurt anyone or harm their dignity, the Gallery and Murray regrets the pain that the display of the painting has caused”. We equally appreciate as the ANC that both Murray and the Gallery have realised that, “ the image has conjured up past historical hurts and humiliations for some people in our country and the Goodman Gallery values both the constitutional rights of freedom of artistic expression as well as human dignity”.
We believe that the lessons learnt in the last two weeks by both Goodman Gallery and Brett Murray and all of us fellow South Africans, will assist us not to repeat those hurting and painful mistakes in the future.
We therefore call upon the Goodman Gallery, Brett Murray and all South Africans to commit themselves in working for a South Africa where rights of all individuals are respected and where all of South Africans can work towards a South Africa that has a shared common value system, a South Africa that is united in its diverse cultures, a South Africa that appreciates.
its past and is working towards the healing of the humiliation and hurt of that past, a South Africa that belongs to all those who live in it, black and white.