Johannesburg - “There is only room for one jailbird in this cell, Julius. Move over fat ass.”
This was a tweet from Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr after he was arrested for speeding on the N4 east near Bronkhorstspruit on Thursday night.
Coincidentally, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema was also arrested for speeding on the N1 highway in the Vaal on the same night.
Malema was caught driving at 215km/h in a 120km/h zone while Hofmeyr had registered 169km/h in his black Chrysler.
Hofmeyr claimed he was on his way to Badplaas Resort for a live concert with his fiancée, Janine van der Vyver.
Hofmeyr was released from the Bronkhorspruit police cells on R500 bail in the early hours of Friday morning and is expected to appear in the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of reckless and negligent driving.
Upon his release Hofmeyr immediately issued a statement, saying his speeding was “irresponsible and dangerous”.
“I was rushing from Pretoria to a concert in Badplaas, when I was pulled over on the N4 and arrested for exceeding a speed of 160km/h,” the singer announced on his Facebook page.
Hofmeyr claimed this was his first run-in with the law but Tshwane Metro Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said Hofmeyr has five outstanding speeding fines in the Joburg metro.
“Although this is the first time this has happened to me in 30 years of travelling, I expect nothing less from our SAPS and traffic departments,” Hofmeyr said.
Hofmeyr’s statement was met with thousands of comments of Facebook where people expressed either their support of Hofmeyr or their disdain towards his speeding:
- Brandon Ma-jozee Ribhs: I love the fact that you were such a man about and came forward cleared all the rumours big up mfethu (brother)! I don’t speak or understand Afrikaans, I’m Zulu, but I love you for your boldness and madness not forgetting your humility brother!
- Elizabeth Baptista: Not good. Make sure it doesn’t happen again.... You’re setting a bad example for children.
Many people used the platform to crack jokes, post funny pictures such as one entitled The fat and the furious (referring to Malema and Hofmeyr) and to compare Hofmeyr and Malema’s speeds. One comment said as soon as Hofmeyr’s name was added to the cell registry he could run for president.
In a statement issued on Friday, EFF said it and Malema wanted to apologise for the speeding incident.
“The EFF, together with its commander-in-chief, fighter Julius Malema, would like to apologise for the regrettable incident of contravening the speed limit on the N1 in the Vaal. Malema, who was on a tight schedule, was on his way from Bloemfontein to attend to an urgent programme in Alexandra.”
He was granted bail of R5 000 in the early hours of on Friday morning. Malema appeared in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court on Friday where the matter was postponed to January 29.
Transport M inister Dipuo Peters called on Hofmeyr and Malema to set examples by driving safely.
Pretoria News Weekend