A photograph of Afrikaans singer and activist Steve Hofmeyr, apparently with a street sign immortalising one of the two men convicted for the murder of SACP leader Chris Hani in 1993, is actually not photoshopped.
On Monday, the 24th anniversary of Hani’s murder was commemorated, and President Jacob Zuma used the platform to allege that the people who had been marching against him are motivated by racism, and that Hani was a nonracialist at heart.
More marches have been planned for Wednesday, on Zuma’s birthday.
Zuma alleged there were posters at the People’s March calling black people baboons, though photographs or other evidence of such posters have not emerged.
Since then, a picture has, however, been recirculated of Hofmeyr with another Afrikaner holding up a street sign bearing the name of former politician Clive Derby-Lewis, who was convicted of plotting Hani’s assassination along with Polish-immigrant triggerman Janusz Walus.
Some on social media responded that the image was possibly photoshopped, but it is in fact real, and was taken in 2014 during a protest by rightwing political party Front National in Church Square in Pretoria when the party was demanding the release of Derby-Lewis on parole.
The street sign was presumably a prop used during the protest.
Derby-Lewis was granted medical parole in 2015, and died of lung cancer last year in November at the age of 80.
One user asked Hofmeyr if the photo was real, to which no response had yet been offered. Others have used the image to criticise white people more generally, with one person captioning the photo “disgrace”.
Others have used the photo in an attempt to typecast white people in general as racists. Hofmeyr, however, is a highly divisive character who has never hidden his disdain for black people, though he denies being a racist.
Years ago, he courted controversy by blaming black people for having necessitated apartheid, saying they were “the architects” of the discriminatory system that had governed South Africa between 1948 and 1994.
— Vathiswa Ruselo (@Vathiswar) April 11, 2017
— Dr Lucky Mavuso (@DrLuckyMavuso) April 11, 2017
— Takhaar (@wcpretorius) April 10, 2017