Presidency disgusted at violation of President Zuma's rights
18 May 2012
The Presidency is shocked and disgusted at the grotesque painting by Brett Murray depicting President Jacob Zuma in an offensive manner.
We are amazed at the crude and offensive manner in which this artist denigrates the person and the office of the President of the Republic of South Africa.
The Presidency is concerned that Brett Murray fails to appreciate that freedom carries a deep responsibility. The President was amongst the primary architects of our Constitution and shall defend the rights enshrined in our Bill of Rights, including the freedom of artistic expression. However, in exercising these rights, people should at all times be conscious that they are not absolute.
Nobody has a right to violate the dignity and rights of others while exercising their own. Other than his position as Head of State and as President of the ruling party, President Zuma as a citizen has a right to human dignity, which is enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic. No human being deserves to be denigrated in this shocking manner.