Posted on December 7, 2010

Steve Starts Race Row

Charl du Plessis, Times LIVE (Johannesburg), December 5, 2010

Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr has sparked a racial storm by blaming the “propaganda of entitlement” among black people for the brutal murder of a Free State family.

Writing on his Facebook page in Afrikaans, Hofmeyr last week said: “Blacks (God knows, probably not all of them, but most of those I observe) feel justified and ‘entitled’ in everything, from quotas/low matric marks to land rights/brutality”.

“We must generalise,” wrote Hofmeyr. “Most black people I know are not violent but they slurp up the propaganda of entitlement, which gives young killers what they need to justify their brutality.”

Hofmeyr was referring to the murder of Attie Potgieter, his wife Wilna and their three-year-old daughter Willemien on their farm in the Free State on Wednesday.

“I don’t know how the world thinks we should transform, integrate and let go of our prejudices and stay nice, tolerant Christians when blacks can shoot a three-year-old child in the head,” said Hofmeyr.

Willemien and her mother were shot execution-style, whereas Attie was hacked to death with a panga, the Sunday Times reported.

Six men, most of them in their twenties, were arrested and will appear in the Lindley Magistrate’s Court today on charges of murder.

Hofmeyr said he was “sorry to emphasise the colour, but I’m struggling to spot the terrible whites who climb over blacks’ walls to do that to their children”.

In a response to an open letter he wrote to ANC Youth League president Julius Malema earlier this year, Hofmeyr denied that he was a racist but said that blacks such as Malema have “yet to admit to the fact that they have yet to give this continent anything that makes the world sit up”.

His latest Facebook comments on the murder sparked a flurry of activity among his fans.

The first comment was liked by 2070 people and attracted 791 comments.

Elna Strydom replied to Hofmeyr, writing: “You are spot on. Then the government says farm murders are not racially motivated. Bulls**t! Of course they are!”

Another fan, Petro Burzler wrote: “Have your say, Steve, you are our spokesman. It’s time for the racism card to be burnt because it seems it’s the only thing that can be spelt.”

Ayesha Kajee, executive director of the Freedom of Expression Institute, said elements of Hofmeyr’s comments “might be deemed racist” but they did not constitute hate speech.

“Our constitution doesn’t prevent you making discriminatory statements . . . it only becomes hate speech when it incites violence against a group of people”.

[Editor’s Note: Yesterday’s story on the Attie murders can be read here.]