Jacob Zuma 'The Spear' painting case postponed indefinitely

Brett Murray's painting of Jacob Zuma, 'The Spear,' on display in Johannesburg prior to its defacement.

A South African court has indefinitely postponed a high-profile case over a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma.

The ruling African National Congress brought an application to ban 'The Spear,' a painting by artist Brett Murray, which shows Zuma in a Lenin-like pose with his genitals exposed.  

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg postponed the case Thursday, and ruled that video footage of the ANC's lawyer breaking down in court may not be televised, the South African Press Association reported.

Lawyer Gcina Malindi broke down in tears during court proceedings, while talking about the struggle against apartheid, according to the BBC.

Hundreds of Zuma supporters gathered outside the courthouse, some holding posters that read: "President Zuma has a right to human dignity and privacy."

More from GlobalPost: Jacob Zuma 'The Spear' painting removed in deal between ANC, Goodman Gallery

The $14,000 acrylic painting, which was on show at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg, was vandalized by protesters on Tuesday.

The ANC wants it removed from public view, including images of it posted on the website for City Press, a South African weekly newspaper.

The painting – which forms part of Murray’s Hail to the Thief II exhibition – has already been sold, according to South Africa's Independent Online.

Zuma, a Zulu traditionalist, follows polygamy under South African laws that allow only one civil union, but multiple customary marriages.

The 70-year-old president has been married six times, and has four current wives. He has about 20 children in total, and in 2009 fathered a child out of wedlock with the daughter of a senior football official.

Zuma was acquitted of rape charges in 2006, although he admitted to having unprotected sex with the woman, who he knew was HIV-positive. He testified that he took a shower after having sex with her in the belief that this would reduce the chance of infection.

In 2008, the cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro, known as "Zapiro," depicted the president with his pants down, about to rape a blindfolded female figure representing justice. A case against Shapiro is due to be heard in the fall.  

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