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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.

Steve Hofmeyr. Picture: @stevehofmeyr/Twitter

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.

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.

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.