Connect to share and comment

Jacob Zuma 'The Spear' painting removed in deal between ANC, Goodman Gallery

The ANC agreed to drop legal action over the painting, which shows South African President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed.

The spear jacob zuma painting 22 05 2012Enlarge
Brett Murray's painting of Jacob Zuma, 'The Spear,' on display in Johannesburg prior to its defacement. (ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

A Johannesburg art gallery has stopped displaying "The Spear," a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma, after reaching a deal with the ruling African National Congress.

The ANC agreed to drop its legal action against the gallery over the painting, which shows Zuma with his genitals exposed, the South African Press Association reported.

On Monday, South Africa's City Press newspaper removed an image of the painting from its website in response to threats from the ANC.

"There is no need for us to continue taking City Press to court, or the Goodman Gallery to court. It would not make sense," ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said at a joint news conference with the gallery on Wednesday.

"Maybe we should not have gone to through lawyers, we should have talked directly," Mthembu said, according to the BBC.

More from GlobalPost: 'The Spear,' controversial Jacob Zuma painting, defaced in Jo'burg gallery (VIDEO)

On Tuesday, the ANC led thousands of its supporters in a march to the art gallery to protest the painting.

Goodman Gallery director Liza Essers said the painting would not be displayed because it had been defaced.

"I believe in the right to freedom of expression and the South African constitution," Essers said, the BBC reported.

The painting has been sold for $14,000 to a German buyer.

More from GlobalPost: South Africa: ANC celebrates 100th birthday

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/south-africa/120530/zuma-the-spear-painting-removed-anc-deal-goodman-ga