Hofmeyr the relic and Malema the pickpocket are not the majority

Ideas

Hofmeyr the relic and Malema the pickpocket are not the majority

Their hate-filled, divisive rhetoric and historical revisionism do not represent us, the rest of SA

Columnist


“I have never called for their [white people’s] killing, at least for now. I can’t guarantee the future.”
That charming little innuendo, spoken by Julius Malema in 2018, is hateful. But, according to the South African Human Rights Commission, it does not legally qualify as hate speech.
I’m sure the SAHRC had its reasons for clearing Malema. Legislation around hate speech, for one thing, remains open to interpretation.
Still, let’s imagine for a moment a hypothetical situation, in which a very nasty person sends the SAHRC an e-mail, reading: “I have never called for the bombing for the SAHRC offices, at least for now. I can’t guarantee the future.”
I can’t guarantee the future either, but I’d imagine that the good folk at the SAHRC, being adult humans living in an extremely violent society, would see this as a clear and present threat, and evacuate their building in record time.
Which is why many South Africans will believe that the SAHRC has joined the queue of fart-catchers crouched behind Malema and the EFF. After all, if it looks like hate, and quacks like hate ... Still, the law, as we all know, is an ass, and it is entirely possible that SAHRC’s decision was backed up 100% by that law. Ideology probably had no part in their ruling.
The same, however, can’t be said of another circus featuring another prominent egotist and hate-monger.
When the Afrikaans Is Groot music festival revealed that apartheid apologist Steve Hofmeyr would be performing, major corporate sponsors found themselves under pressure to withdraw from the event. After all, you don’t need to be a PR genius to understand the problem with sponsoring a person who tweets that “blacks were the architects of apartheid”.
Many of those sponsors have now pulled out. Which, to most festival organisers, would have presented an obvious solution: drop Hofmeyr from the line-up and release a vague statement about unity and having listened to the concerns of the majority of South Africans.
And yet, at the time of writing, Afrikaans Is Groot had no plans to ditch him. In other words, the festival has made an ideological, rather than financial, decision: it would rather ask for donations than part ways with a man who recently told The Citizen that the Sharpeville massacre “was not a human rights transgression”. It has pinned its colour – snow white – firmly to the ideological mast.
Thankfully, Afrikaans really is groot. It is enormous, the mother tongue of millions of South Africans, black and white, who reject the racism, ignorance, self-righteousness and entitlement that Hofmeyr endlessly trumpets.
Hate, division and historical revisionism must be challenged whenever they rear their heads. But let’s not be cowed by the poison and passion of their delivery into believing that they are the majority. Hofmeyr is a relic of history, marooned in the present. Malema is a pickpocket, distracting us with outrageous rhetoric, as he helps himself to the public purse, earning a fat salary simply to pout, accuse and threaten.
We, the other 90%, are not this. And we know hate when we see it.

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