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MTN pulls sponsorship from Afrikaans is Groot' fest amid Steve Hofmeyr outcry

15/03/2019

MTN took the lead in dropping its sponsorship of the Afrikaans is Groot festival amid a public outcry as a result of Steve Hofmeyr being included as a headliner for the show.

Afrikaans is Groot is an annual show with this year's featured acts including Karlien van Jaarsveld, Bok van Blerk, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Elvis Blue among others on the bill.

MTN felt the heat With the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi, among those calling on sponsors to turn their back on the festival, it will be interesting to see how the situation develops.

Lesufi tagged the mobile service provider in a tweet and asked:

Dear [MTN], your sponsorship of this person's performance is an insult to all peace-loving South Africans. If he performs at Afrikaans is Big concert then withdraw your sponsorship. We are not against AIB but against the insults of the so-called singer!

The mobile giant confirmed that they have taken a decision to cut all ties with the Afrikaans is Groot / Afrikaans is Big event:

Through its brand and network, MTN seeks to connect South Africans and bring people together. As such, we cannot sponsor an event that in any way contradicts our objectives.

Brands still associated with the festival According to the festival website, Coca Cola and Toyota are among the international companies still listed as sponsors for the show and netizens are demanding answers.

"MTN seeks to connect South Africans and bring people together and it's unfortunate that by persisting with Hofmeyr, AIG is no longer helping serve that objective."

Hey @ToyotaCyon, why does @ToyotaSA still supports white supremacists and racists? pic.twitter.com/8e5tsAoeP0

Ex Post Facto (@ex_post_facto) March 15, 2019 @ToyotaSA won't reply! They support racism! They support racist motoring writers!

Not Afriforum (@Afroforum1) February 4, 2019 Earlier this week, Shandukani Mulaudzi shared a list of the brands still supporting the show. Apart from Coco Cola and Toyota, they also include Jacaranda FM, Virseker and We Buy Cars.

Mulaudzi said in a follow-up tweet:

I have zero qualms with a festival that promotes Afrikaans music. That's lovely. But we must be very clear that Hofmeyr's politics are not about promoting language and culture. Anyone and brands willing to associate themselves with him ain't shit. This is absolutely gross.

Guys. Are we aware that there's a show in this, our land, that has Steve Hofmeyr as a headliner with the sponsorship support of:

Jacaranda FM (Kagiso Media)

Beeld (Media24)

Via (Media24)

MTN

Toyota

Virseker

We buy cars

Coca-Cola?!

Brands like this would be the first

Omphulusa (@ShanduMul) March 12, 2019 A history of stirring controversy This is not the first time that the festival has been dropped by sponsors because of Hofmeyr. A couple of sponsors withdrew in 2015 due to Hofmeyr's involvement.

His controversial views have also caused him to have shows in Botswana, Namibia and New Zealand cancelled of late.

Hofmeyr has come under fire in the press and on social media for his outspoken views on race and race relations in South Africa. In 2011, he released a tribute song to Eugene Terre'blanche. Included in the lyrics was the k-word.

Not to mention his affinity for sharing photos of the old South African flag, and that incident from 2014 when Hofmeyr said Blacks were the architects of Apartheid.

Following the latest outcry, Hofmeyr lashed out on Facebook against black privilege, and shared an image of Trevor Noah, Julius Malema and the fact that nobody boikots them.

Tags: Steve Hofmeyr
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/mtn-drops-afrikaans-is-groot-fest-for-...
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