Members of South Africa’s African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) on Friday marched to Union Buildings in Pretoria to defend the honour of President Jacob Zuma in light of a recent painting which shows a naked Zuma receiving oral sex.
Ayanda Mabulu, a South African painter, in October made headlines with his art dubbed “The Pornography of Power” which he depicts as “the situation that we are in, in the country (South Africa),”
He told News24 earlier in the month: “There is no more time to try and beat around the bush when you are painting. I made it my journey to paint and write and talk about what’s happening in our society.”
Mabulu explained that his work expressed many of the ideas of Steve Biko and Franz Fanon, and of the slave “trainer” Willie Lynch.
ANCWL, however, found the painting offensive and demeaning to the country’s female population.
National spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, told News24: “In a country where you have high incidences of violence against women, to depict a woman in that manner is just degrading,”
The league said in a statement: “We condemn the denigration of the image of President Zuma by so-called artists.”
“For example, recently the portrayal of the president’s genitals in the mouth of a woman. The country was silent and even failed to condemn the imagery of violence against women.”
The League insisted President Zuma deserved more respect from people as the country’s leader.
“Women reaffirm the leadership of President Zuma as the champion of the revolution. The leadership of the movement leading the national democratic revolution is represented by the face of its president, therefore, by virtue of this fact he is the human face of our revolution.
“The ANCWL, therefore, regards any attack on the president as an attack on the revolution and the organisation – the ANC.”
“As we continue with the responsibility bestowed upon us to defend the NDR, as the leaders of one of its primary motive forces – the ANCWL – we will embark on a protest to defend the movement in general and the president of the ANC in particular as to ensure that the gains of the revolution amongst others are protected,” the league said.
The theme of the march was “women defending the national democratic revolution (NDR)”.
The marchers, predominantly clothed in ANC colours, danced and blew whistles as they sang, “Zuma, I love you so much!”
The demonstration comes barely three days after the president’s son, Edward, launched a passionate defence of his father over the Mabulu painting.
Zuma Junior said: “Over the past three years, as a family we have endured humiliation that cannot be described as result of pornographic material aimed at tarnishing the image of my father and the president of the ANC and the Republic of South Africa J.G. Zuma.”
He warned the artist: “My message to Ayanda Mabulu is that President J.G. Zuma is a parent and (we are) prepared to even defend him physically if need be.”