23.1.2014 Steve Hofmeyr at the Bronkhorstspruit court after being found guilty of speeding. Etienne Creux

KENNEDY MUDZULI

CONTROVERSIAL singer Steve Hofmeyr will not be withdrawn from Afrikaans is Groot, a series of concerts to be held in the auditorium of the NG Kerk Moreleta Park. This is despite a call by the ANC Youth League Greater Tshwane region for all progressive Afrikaners to reject and isolate the popular musician for “insisting on spreading racial venom”.

Juanita du Plessis, Theuns Jordaan, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Bok van Blerk, Robbie Wessels, Lianie May, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Jay, Riana Nel, Jannie Moolman, Arno Jordaan, Jak de Priester, Eden, Corlea Botha and others will also be performing.

The concert series starts tomorrow and concludes in Cape Town later this month. More than 80 000 concert tickets have been sold, organisers said.

However, the ANCYL in Moreleta Park has threatened to protest, saying it would be inappropriate for Hofmeyr to feature in light of his recent public utterances which bordered on racism. The party’s Justin de Swardt said no details had been finalised, but the protest would be done with the utmost respect considering that it was a cultural event and held at a major church.

Th Preroria News contacted Hofmeyr for commemt via Twitter on the call by the ANCYL for people not to support him at the concert, to which he replied, “The who?”

The dispute has its genesis in the confrontation between Hofmeyr and satirist and ventriloquist Conrad Koch with his puppet Chester Missing.

“We fully respect the right of all national groups to practise their cultures in peace, but we whole-heartedly condemn the statement allegedly made by Hofmeyr in which he said in his book, blacks were the architects of apartheid,” De Swardt said. “Furthermore, we note that this was not the first time racially offensive statements have been attributed to Hofmeyr.”

In light of the much-publicised call by Koch for some form of sanction against Hofmeyr, De Swardt said it was necessary to support the condemnation of Hofmeyr who appeared unapologetic in his controversial statements regarding race.

“We cannot allow racism without consequences. It is thus critical that we call for the isolation and confrontation of racist elements.

“Those who do not wish to allow peaceful co-existence can feel free to leave if they so wish,” he said, adding that a dialogue should be held in the spirit of nation building.

Afrikaans is Groot spokesman Barnard Beukman said Hofmeyr was contracted for the concert on the same criteria as all the other artists.

He said their only involvement with all the artists was the performance of their music and not their personal or public viewpoints.

“Those who bought the tickets did it with his participation as part of the offering – each ticket is a contract with the buyer. Therefore, Steve is still performing.

“If we have to judge all the 300 singers, choir members, instrumental artists, dancers, production co-ordinators and technical support crew on subjective viewpoints, personal choices, lifestyle or religion, it would be impossible to stage a music concert any place in the world.”

Beukman said no application had been made by the youth league to protest. He said mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa has accepted an invitation to attend one of the concerts. – [email protected]