Controversial musician Steve Hofmeyr is finally starting to reap what he has sen. This week it was announced that two more major sponsors have pulled their support for a concert he is set to perform at later this year.
Steve has been booked to perform at the Afrikaans music festival, Afrikaans is Groot (AIG) taking place in Pretoria at the end of the year. Steve’s involvement in the show saw the concert losing support from sponsors after backlash from the public based on Steve’s documented history of racist remarks on social media.
Gauteng Education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi, has been among the most prominent names in calls for sponsors of the event like DStv, Toyota and MTN to boycott the show. This is response to a 2014 tweet from Hofmeyr being resurrected and widely circulated on social media several weeks ago. In the tweet, the musician said black people were the architects of apartheid. This is just one example of varying statements Steve has publicly made that have many believing he is a white supremacist.
As a result, major sponsors like Toyota, Beeld, Network24 and MTN have each pulled their multi-million rand sponsorships of the event. Hopefully, next time they would know better than to associate themselves with someone who has such a reputation as a public figure.
It’s a step in the right direction but unfortunately, it’s not over yet. The organizer are determined to keep supporting their friend through yet another scandal surrounding his highly publicized discriminatory rhetoric. Barry Pretorius, the Director of AIG, confirming at a press conference Steve “is going nowhere and will be part of the show”.
With it’s main sponsors cutting ties and re-looking its connections with Afrikaans is Groot and those affiliated with it, the local music concert is having to turn to its audience members for financial support. Imagine. AIG has launched a #JouAIG campaign (Your Afrikaans is Groot) in collaboration with Solidarity Helping Hand, in which “the public will be the main sponsor” of the event. Whatever that means.
Moral of the story: time for corporate SA to realize they can’t keep getting away with supporting alleged racists without the people taking action.