Zuma court challenge against painting display begins

Zuma court challenge against painting display begins

Scores of supporters of South Africa's president have gathered outside a Johannesburg court house for the start of his challenge of a gallery's right to display a portrait that depicted his genitals.

President Jacob Zuma is asking the High Court to order the gallery to remove the painting on the grounds it violates his constitutional right to dignity.

The gallery and the artist argue that freedom of expression, also protected by the constitution, is at stake.

Three high court judges, among the most senior in South Africa, closely questioned President Jacob Zuma's lawyer as arguments began today.

The painting, entitled 'The Spear', was defaced and removed from the gallery two days ago.

Still, the case is being closely watched because it raises important constitutional issues in a new democracy.


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