Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr. File picture: Etienne Creux/Indepedent Media
Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr. File picture: Etienne Creux/Indepedent Media

Steve Hofmeyr on why he won't refer to Grahamstown as Makhanda

By Carmelita Fredericks Time of article published Oct 5, 2018

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Controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr took to Twitter to weigh in on the renaming of Grahamstown.

The Eastern Cape town of Grahamstown was officially been renamed to Makhanda on Tuesday, and while Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said the process of renaming the Eastern Cape town  "followed the letter of the law", Hofmeyer disapproves, and claims that small settlements with "potential"  "cannot be renamed after every goatherder who took a p*ss under an Acacia tree".

While some agreed with Hofmeyr, others felt he had the wrong outlook. One user wrote: "Looking at the demographics of this country and population growth, the Afrikaner population is heading towards a negligible minority anyway. The goat herder may be p*ssing against an acacia, but u may be pissing against the wind..."

In a statement released earlier this week, Mthethwa explained why the name change had to happen and why the name of Makhanda was chosen.

"The town formerly known as 'Grahamstown' is named after Lieutenant Colonel John Graham whose role in the Frontier Wars was to exercise the "maximum degree of terror" on the Xhosa natives and who was and is still infamous for his methods to "break the back of the native" by employing the most savage means imaginable," the statement read.

Mthethwa explained that what South Africans ought to know, is that the name change of the town to Makhanda is the fulfilling of the "prophecy of 'Ukubuya kuka Nxele (the return of Nxele')". 

"Makhanda was a warrior, war doctor, philosopher and prophet whose heroics in the Frontier Wars included an attack on a British garrison at the locality," he said. 

"The renaming of this town will ensure that Makhanda ka Nxele's memory is immortalised, and rightfully so," Mthethwa added.


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