Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr has been accused of issuing death threats to Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Phumzile Van Damme and South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane.
Hofmeyr – known for his controversial tweets that have earned him frequent accusations of racism – told the pair that “when you come to take our lives [and] land, you WILL die”.
This after saying in the same tweet that both Van Damme and Mandela-Hlongwane must answer to him since he’s a “tax-paying citizen”.
“Effectively, I AM your boss. You WILL jump when I say so and you WILL ask how high,” he tweeted.
Hofmeyr was addressing Mandela-Hlongwane due to the controversy caused by tweets from an unverified Twitter account believed to be hers under the hashtag #OurLand.
These included a tweet about “trembling white cowards” who are the “thieving rapist descendants of Van Riebeck [sic]” and one saying that Zindzi was “wondering how the world of shivering land thieves is doing” while out “wining and dining” at a restaurant.
The tweets divided South African social media under mainly but not entirely racial lines, earning both outrage and support.
Van Damme, meanwhile, was included in the threatening tweet due to an incident in which she punched a man following an alleged racist incident. According to Van Damme, she acted in self-defence after the man swore at her and “was threatening violence” at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
Hofmeyr appears to believe that Van Damme’s claims of racism are fabricated, as he retweeted a tweet from right-wing cartoonist Jeremy “Jerm” Nell, making this accusation before sending his own tweet.
Van Damme declined to comment, saying only that she refuses to “feed his need for attention”. Mandela-Hlongwane, meanwhile, has not been contactable since the series of tweets attributed to her went viral.
Here's Steve Hofmeyr making DEATH THREATS towards Phumzile Van Damme and @ZindziMandela. Cc @afriforum @Our_DA @ErnstRoets @IRR_SouthAfrica @KathradaFound @LRC_SouthAfrica @Natasha9Mazzone @MmusiMaimane @helenzille @kalliekriel @PaulWhelan745 @SAHRCommission @CyrilRamaphosa pic.twitter.com/ak85wLgPbP
— Akanyang Merementsi (@AkanyangM) June 19, 2019
No stranger to backlashes caused by his Twitter posts, Hofmeyr has been branded a racist for tweeting that “black people were the architects of apartheid”, for another tweet which was widely interpreted as him saying black people are more prone to rape than white people, for his expressions of regret for voting “yes” in the referendum that led to a democratic South Africa, and his assertion that the Sharpeville massacre was not a human rights transgression.
He has also been met with outrage for his behaviour outside of social media. He wrote a song dedicated to the late far-right AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche, once threatening to sing a version of the lyrics with the k-word in them as retribution for Julius Malema’s singing of Dubul’iBhunu (Shoot the Boer), and has repeatedly sung Die Stem both locally and internationally.
His reputation as a racist has led to sponsors MTN and Toyota pulling out of the Afrikaans is Groot festival due to his inclusion on the line-up and to Multichoice announcing that they would no longer screen any content that featured Hofmeyr on satellite service DStv.
This resulted in Hofmeyr destroying his satellite dish and DStv decoder in a video and offering his fans cash prizes for doing the same. He reportedly raised R56,000 for the winners and was expected to announce them from the beginning of this week. The Citizen could not find any information on who the winners are at the time of publication.