The Spear: Classification of painting overturned on appeal
11 Oct 2012
JOHANNESBURG — A ruling on the classification of The Spear artwork was overturned by the Film and Publications Board’s (FPB) Appeal Tribunal yesterday, the regulatory body said.
Spokesperson Prince Ndamase said this meant the painting was no longer subject to a rating of 16N, which the board introduced in July.
The Goodman Gallery appealed against the classification on September 17, on the grounds that it was “impermissible and unsustainable”. The Spear, painted by Cape Town-based artist Brett Murray, depicted President Jacob Zuma with genitals exposed.
Ndamase said the Film and Publications Board would issue a statement outlining its position on the ruling in the next few weeks.
Murray said in reaction his painting should never have been given a classification by the board in the first place.
Raashied Galant, a co-director of the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), welcomed the ruling by the appeal tribunal.
“It is wonderful news. It opens the way for greater appreciation for the freedom of expression.”