MTN dumps 'Afrikaans is Groot' fest over Steve Hofmeyr outcry
South Africans on social media, including Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, called on sponsors such as MTN and other big brands to pull out and disassociate themselves with the racist Hofmeyr.
JOHANNESBURG - Mobile network MTN has announced it is cutting all ties with popular music festival Afrikaans is Groot after the widespread outcry on social media over controversial singer Steve Hofmeyr being a headliner at the event.
The annual festival showcases popular Afrikaans musicians and will be held in Pretoria and Cape Town this year. Its website features Steve Hofmeyr, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Bok van Blerk, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Elvis Blue and others as performers.
Ongelooflik. VYF uitverkoopte konserte in die Kaap. Dankie aan 25000 Kapenaars wat (ten spyt Bloubuloorwinnings) bespreek het!!! pic.twitter.com/wXEHxUnwNg— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) March 12, 2019
South Africans on social media, including Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi, called on sponsors such as MTN and other big brands to pull out and not to associate themselves with Hofmeyr.
The singer is known to have blamed apartheid on black people, posed with the apartheid flag and often posts right wing-aligned posts from other sources.
Sorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of Apartheid. Go figure.— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) October 23, 2014
Good thread. Apartheid was merely a policy that separated tax-paying citizens of a dearly fought-for sovereignty, from the rest. Every country has it. Was it infallible? Far from. pic.twitter.com/6CEMSgjoyS— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) February 7, 2019
Good rains. Found a waterproof roof. Mooi ne. pic.twitter.com/QURNuOravs— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) February 2, 2019
Architects of integration pic.twitter.com/nPsJwbdT15— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) March 15, 2019
Dear @MTNza, your sponsorship of this person’s performance is an insult to all peace loving South Africans. If he performs at Afrikaans is Big concert then withdraw your sponsorship. We are not against AIB but against the insults of the so called singer! https://t.co/H1xCYsb21K— Panyaza Lesufi (@Lesufi) March 14, 2019
In 2011 #SteveHofmeyr wrote a tribute song to Eugene Terre'blanche. This song includes the derogatory *k* word.— Eloquent Delinquent (@EloquentTash) March 15, 2019
Botswana, Namibia, New Zealand cancelled his concerts over the years.
South African companies like @ToyotaSA @MTNza @cocacolasa sponsor him.https://t.co/7fxNWDu3p4
... to distance themselves from his racist remarks if he was a direct ambassador of theirs and yet, in this instance, where he is still a direct beneficiary of their money they don’t see anything wrong? People like Steve should not be able to work in this country. He is scum!— Omphulusa (@ShanduMul) March 12, 2019
Journalists should write about these brands sponsoring white supremacists and Apartheid apologists like Steve Hofmeyr and Jay. Members of the public should be writing to and phoning up these companies until they stop funding white supremacists and Apartheid apologists. https://t.co/qo1Tkxhf7D— Ex Post Facto (@ex_post_facto) March 13, 2019
We have taken the decision to cut all ties with the AIG event. Through its brand and network, MTN seeks to connect South Africans and bring people together. As such, we cannot sponsor an event that in any way contradicts our objectives. Read more: https://t.co/d4OrfFBhhj— MTN South Africa (@MTNza) March 15, 2019
In 2015, a couple of sponsors pulled out of the festival that year after similar calls were made over Hofmeyr's involvement.
Meanwhile, Channel24 reported that the organisers of Afrikaans Is Groot have said they will not be removing Hofmeyr from the lineup, while some sponsors have said they are in fact not part of the event this year but other events linked to the brand and others have not cut ties with the festival.