Deputy captain of the Springboks and Blue Bulls player Duane Vermeulen has come under fire for appearing in an image alongside controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr.
Hofmeyr has dominated headlines over the last week after various sponsors such as MTN and Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark pulled out of events based on the fact that he was included in the lineup.
The Afrikaans singer caused outrage after he revisited an old tweet of his in which he stated that black people were “the architects of apartheid.”
Sorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of Apartheid. Go figure.
— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) October 23, 2014
He compounded the situation by commenting on the backlash and calling it “barbaric unrest control.”
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. pic.twitter.com/L7xVjP8OHQ
— Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) March 21, 2019
Vermeulen’s picture was initially highlighted by journalist Kate Nokwe and later amplified by Twitter user @eloquenttash.
Don't think Duane Vermeulen is ready for what's coming. Posing with Steve Hofmeyr might not be the best Sunday idea.
— Kate Nokwe (@This_Kate) March 17, 2019
This was posted and deleted 3 days later. I wonder why @duane_vermeulen
Perhaps the association with racist Steve won't do well for your reputation as the vice captain for the @Springboks
— Eloquent Delinquent (@EloquentTash) March 20, 2019
And was subsequently picked up by other Tweeps such as Mayihlome Tshwete who denounced Vermeulen and expressed their disappointment in him.
I'm no longer a Duane Vermualen fan …to hell with him pic.twitter.com/rI0xQwfpz3
— Mayihlome (@MTshwete) March 22, 2019
duane vermeulen is cancelled. https://t.co/nxZL1TwiJp
— (((zwunch))) (@tristanbergh) March 22, 2019
Rate @SARugbymag @Springboks @SPORTandREC_RSA must drop @duane_vermeulen from the team! Would say @BlueBullsRugby should too but we all know how that Union is run… #DropDuane #NoRacismInSports https://t.co/fErkpV6vOo
— Benny Mokhalinyane (@benny81blanco) March 22, 2019
— Sam Cook (@cooklet) March 20, 2019
If we have these types of players in the Springboks that support and open racist. What puzzles me is that Duane Vermeulen knows Steve's reputation and beliefs but still has the audacity to pose with an open racist it's disgusting to say the least. @Springboks @BlueBullsRugby pic.twitter.com/e7bsuyEGoz
— That A*hole (@master_braai) March 18, 2019
Update, 24 May: Vermeulen has said he did not post the photo on Twitter, and therefore could not have removed it. The image was posted on his Instagram account and currently still exists there.
An earlier version of this article reported as fact the incorrect allegation that he had posted the photo in question to Twitter and then deleted it.