South Africa's President Jacob Zuma and his ruling African National Council (ANC) party have taken legal action against an art gallery for a controversial painting that shows the president's genitals.

The ANC launched a legal bid to try to force the Goodman Gallery to remove the picture, called "The Spear", which it described as crude and racist.

"It is making a mockery of the highest office," Jackson Mthembu, ANC spokesman, said.

Two men vandalised the painting at the Johannesburg gallery on Wednesday, smearing black and red paint across it, before the case could be heard in court.

Ahead of Thursday's hearing, dozens of Zuma supporters gathered outside the court in Johannesburg. Here are some pictures and reactions from social media websites:

Source: Agencies