A South African high school has apologised and removed "insulting" student artworks depicting President Jacob Zuma and Nelson Mandela after the ruling ANC complained, the party said Thursday.

Printed T-shirts displayed at a Durban shopping mall included an image of Zuma with the caption "fakers" and "est 1994" which is the year that the ANC took power.

The two other works included one of Nelson Mandela in the guise of KFC's Colonel Sanders.

"It was insulting," the party's regional spokesman Senzo Mkhize told AFP.

He said the images "went overboard" and undermined South Africa's progress in social cohesion and nation building since apartheid ended 19 years ago.

The Westville Boys High School said it had taken down the display after receiving a complaint from the ANC.

Headmaster Trevor Hall said the works had been created by "free-thinking learners as part of their art portfolios for examination" and that no political bias had been encouraged.

"The display of the T-shirts in question was not intended to offend in any way and we apologise to the extent that any offence was caused," he said in a statement.

The ANC was happy that the works had been removed, said Mkhize.

"We think that the issue is resolved now."

The furore is just the latest artworks drama involving Zuma and the ANC.

Last year a painting showing the leader with exposed genitals sparked court cases and protests and the gallery was forced to remove it from display.