I want to write a longer post on the outcomes of The Spear saga but for now I just want to point out how ridiculous it’s classification is. The Spear depicts Jacob Zuma with his penis exposed and was sent to the Film and Publications Board (FPB) to be classified. They’ve now decided that it should be rated 16N, meaning:
Any persons or entities wishing to publish and exhibit images and/or replicas of this specific artwork will in future have to put in place mechanisms to regulate access to this piece of art by members of the public below the age of 16.
There has been a lot of talk about Brett Murray’s depiction of President Jacob Zuma in the picture, The Spear, which already has it’s own Wikipedia entry. Everyone has their opinion on the picture, which was sold for R136 000, and whether it is a legitimate example of freedom of expression or whether it should be removed and destroyed. I want to look at it in light of the 10 principles of free speech I talked about earlier.