One of the men who defaced a controversial painting of President Jacob Zuma did it because he wanted to defuse racial divisions, The Star reported on Friday.
"I didn't do it for moral reasons, I didn't do it for the ANC, and I didn't do it for President Zuma," Barend la Grange said.
He did it to defuse a "potentially dangerous racial division" that the painting had caused.
The cross over the face represented his opposition to the African National Congress, and the one over the genitals was to oppose what was causing "so much tension", La Grange said.
"The Spear" was painted by Cape Town-based artist Brett Murray.
On 22 May, La Grange and Louis Mabokela defaced the piece at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg.
Mabokela smeared black paint over the painting with his hands after La Grange had already painted one red cross over Zuma's genitals and one over his face.
Initially, La Grange approached the gallery to put up a replica next to Murray's work with the crosses, but he claimed they ignored him.
"The next morning I woke up and thought, 'maybe I must do the real thing'," said La Grange."