Pieter Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus with his wife. Picture: Raahil Sain /African News Agency (ANA)
Pieter Mulder of the Freedom Front Plus with his wife. Picture: Raahil Sain /African News Agency (ANA)

Heated exchange between Groenewald, eNCA journos over Hofmeyr tweets

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jun 20, 2019

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Johannesburg - Things got heated on the red carpet of the State of the Nation Address when eNCA reporters Leanne Jansen and Samkelo Maseko quizzed Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald about Afrikaans musician Steve Hofmeyr’s alleged racist tweet.

Hofmeyr had tweeted that "you will die", in a tweet that was addressed to DA MP Phumzile van Damme and Zindzi Mandela, the ambassador to Denmark.

The ANC said Hofmeyr's tweet smacked of "barbarism, white supremacy and toxic masculinity”. 

"Dear @zilevandamme and @ZindziMandela I'm a South African tax-paying citizen. Effectively, I AM your boss. You WILL jump when I say so and you WILL ask how high. And when you come to take our lives & land, you WILL die. Our contract is that simple. And don't you forget it."

Quizzed about Hofmeyr's tweet, Groenewald interjected and said he had not seen the tweet.

“I didn’t read the Twitter messages of Steve Hofmeyr. I am on record that the minister must recall the ambassador from Denmark,” he said.

“Can I answer? If he said anything that is racist, he must also apologise. Simple as that,” he said.

Jansen attempted to read back the tweet to Groenewald, who was not interested in hearing. Maseko then interjected and prodded further, with Groenewald appearing to be getting agitated.

“It’s quite clear you don’t know my programme, I am not on Twitter all the time. I saw the Twitter (tweet) from (Zindzi) Mandela about two or three days later so don’t tell me what I should do,” he said before walking off.

Groenewald said he “rejects any form of racism”.


Video: Azande Shange

Maseko also quizzed DA MP Diane Kohler-Barnard, who has also been accused of racism for sharing a Facebook post.

“I have never seen Steve Hofmeyr, I gather he used to sing,” she said.

Kohler-Barnard said Hofmeyr’s ‘race baiting’ tweets, were “just as outrageous as the EFF statements”.

She said Hofmeyr’s tweets “have no place in our country”.

On Twitter, some mistakenly referred to Groenewald as Pieter Mulder, the retired leader of the FF+.


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