Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The trial of two men accused of vandalising a painting depicting President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed was postponed by the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. 04 September 2012 | Sapa Barend la Grange, 58, and Louis Mabokela, 25, are accused of defacing artist Brett Murray's painting "The Spear" at the Goodman Gallery on May 22, by smearing it with red and black paint. The matter was postponed to October 2, as agreed by the State and the defence, for the accused to make representations to the director of public prosecutions and the Goodman Gallery on why the charges should be dropped. The outcome of this would be given at their next appearance. They are charged with malicious damage to property. Both men's bail was extended. Outside the court a handful of protesters gathered in support of Mabokela. Dressed in African National Congress T-shirts, they sang and danced. They carried placards, one of which read: "We salute Louis and (President Jacob) Zuma". Among the group were Mabokela and his uncle Stephen Sefofa. Mabokela said he wanted the charges dropped. "I want to see the charges dropped, because it's an insult... to the nation." Sefofa echoed this, and said children should respect their parents. "There are different ways to express your views. It's an insult." He said they also planned to protest in Cape Town following the release of a similar painting showing Zuma's genitals. After his first court appearance, La Grange said the gallery and the artist had the right to display the painting, but once their point had been made, the painting should have been taken down. "A high court must get involved for a painting? It took me 15 seconds to get rid of the painting," he said. He said his action was a political statement. It was not about art, but rather a political issue which had become a race issue. "It was my spoilt ballot paper," La Grange said. He said he did not know Mabokela and had met him only after they were arrested.

A man has been sentenced to 19 years in jail for murdering his wife, Free State police said on Tuesday. 04 September 2012 | Sapa "On 31 August 2011 at about 11.30am, Morake Joseph Ramaisa brutally murdered his wife, Mamokete Maria Ramaisa. The murder occurred at the couple's house in Riebeeckstad near Welkom," said Sergeant Puleng Motsoeneng. "It is alleged that the couple had an argument that led them to fight." Ramaisa took a knife and slit his wife's throat. She ran into the guest bathroom where she died. The couple's 15-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter were in the house at the time. The boy woke up when he heard his parents arguing. He found his mother lying in a pool of blood in the bathroom and called police. Ramaisa was arrested shortly afterwards and charged with murder. He was sentenced in the Virginia High Court on August 30. The Citizen Comments by Sonny Are all these family murders of late all inspired by the political violence in South Africa? Things like this are out of place in a Democratic society where people learn to live in harmony with each other and debate problems without violent confrontations? Will our youth grow up and accept violence as the norm of society?

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