White Zuma, Mandela Painting Removed From Exhibition

A painting to depicting former President Nelson Mandela and current head of state Jacob Zuma has been removed from public viewing in Nelspruit.

Kobus Myburg’s Simunye, was in an exhibition scheduled to open at the Van Riebeeck Hall on Monday, as part of the local municipality’s celebration of World Art Day. The same painting shows former heads of state Hendrik Verwoerd, John Vorster, PW Botha and FW de Klerk as blacks.

The gallery decided that it was not suitable for public viewing.

Myburg says it is not meant to be offensive but meant to show that we are all alike.

Now we like art as much as the next man but at the moment it would seem that black does include in pigmentation of one’s skin. As it stands Zuma and Mandela are black icons and integration into the rest of an existing ecosystem isn’t quite there. This is the the attitude that has seen this painting rejected.

Also when you look at the disparity between blacks and whites in South Africa in terms of liberation there is a feeling that the country is not ready yet to depict itself as having citizens who are equal.

The gesture by Myburgh is fine. The timing, not so much.

With information from News24