Afrikaans musician Steve Hofmeyr broke his silence after sponsors pulled out of Afrikaans Is Groot (AIG) music festival following an outrage over his inclusion on the line-up.
The festival took place from March 14 to 17 in Cape Town at the Grand West Casino, and will be in Pretoria at the Sun Arena at Time Square Casino in November and December later this year.
South Africans took to social media to call out sponsors of the festival for associating themselves with Hofmeyr, who has offended black South Africans on several occasions. Following the outrage, all sponsors, except Toyota, pulled out and released statements on their decisions.
MTN announced that it pulled out because of Hofmeyr’s inclusion in the line-up after apparently already raising its concerns about it last month.
“Through its brand and network, MTN seeks to connect South Africans and bring people together and it’s unfortunate that by persisting with Hofmeyr, AIG is no longer helping serve that objective,” it said in a statement.
Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark also announced that it had decided to cancel the festival “based on advice and discussions with concerned parties”.
DStv and Coca-Cola also followed suit.
But Hofmeyr said he was innocent, and blamed “barbaric unrest control” for chasing away sponsors.
“All the things I heard I said: 1. we want to go back to Apartheid. 2. Blacks were bad. 3. Apartheid was better than democracy.3. I sang the k-word 4. I have an affinity for posting old flags… For these lies (and barbaric unrest control) our sponsors flee,” said Hofmeyr.
(Compiled by Vhahangwele Nemakonde)