Steve Hofmeyr apparently threw his U2 tickets in the Jukskei River and the media reports that it was all just a big publicity stunt by Steve to draw attention to himself. But was it? I met Steve on Sunday evening and we had a chat. He agreed to answer some questions about the topic.
Let me start by saying that I don’t know Steve Hofmeyr, but I did watch an interview between him and Justice Malala around the time of the Eugene Terre'Blanche murder and I was gobsmacked. It was probably one of the best interviews that I have seen in the last five years. The guy was smart and articulate and the opposite of what I had perceived him to be. I try to keep an open mind and in this case you really needed to listen carefully to what he was saying to get it - if I had not, it would have gone straight over my head.
At the time of the Eugene Terre'Blanche murder I wrote an article on MyNews24 titled How can Humans do that? where I tried to make the point that its wrong for anybody to promote an act of violence or murder or hate speech as a solution to anything, or in any situation.
I’m a U2 fan and a big supporter for a lot of the things that Bono has tried to promote around the world. For me though, he hit a nerve when he mentioned the IRA in Ireland and compared some of their traditional songs to that of the struggle in South Africa. Now I really don’t believe that Bono would promote a song inciting anybody to commit an act of violence or murder, but at the same time you cannot discount some of the methods used to achieve freedom over the years and that includes the IRA. Is it ok to bomb & murder innocent people in your quest for freedom? I don’t think so. In Ireland there was brutality on both sides of the line and both were wrong – period.
The day after U2’s Cape Town concert, it seemed ironic that the two headlines on the front page of a newspaper reported firstly on the concert and secondly about another brutal farm murder in Stellenbosch? Personally I think that Bono made a mistake by entering this debate, but why did Steve Hofmeyr jump into the fray? Was it about self promotion or was it about something much bigger? So Steve agreed to answer the following questions:
1. Did you throw your U2 tickets into the Jukskei River?
I may have missed the river, but they certainly went out the window. I had received two tweets from families that were attacked that very same morning and confirmation that Bono found apt context for certain Struggle songs. Mentioning Malema himself, I knew that he knew what we were talking about. He made no distinction between hate speech and freedom songs and he remained relative and vague. We know why: when you are a strong ANC supporter, how do you support them when they are defending that very song (Kill the Boer) in a court - as we’re speaking. No wonder Bono floundered. Due to the international brouhaha and furore he had to clarify his position two days later. Then he made all the sense in the world. I was elated but I think he received a pep talk?
2. Did you attend the U2 concert? If not, why not?
The Jukskei is amazing. You throw two in and get eight tickets out. OFM phoned to ask if I’d be willing to hike to Cape Town with Tim Thabetha. We collected R70 000 for Stop Farm Murders within hours. But, thanks to some awfully slow trucks and lifts through the Karoo, we reached CT as the concert finished. I’m happy. The real winner and only contender was my campaigns: Stop ethnic cleansing. Stop entitlement. Kill the payback-license. No more black therapy and IOU’s. Seems a seventeen year old with a blunt knife hardly needs songs to inspire him to brutality in SubSaharan Africa.
3. What exactly did you tweet and why?
“I have just dumped my U2 tickets worth R5000 into the Jukskei River. I’m going home. I can find no context for this song. Sorry and goodbye” But then everybody knew I was already on my way to the stadium. One farm attack victim reckoned that as spokesman for the campaign I should boycott the show. I agreed. Took a deep breath and turned around.
4. What do you think of Bono?
Singing bored me too. I knew there was more to me than pop star flippancy. Like Paul Hewson. I have followed him as activist ever since 1988. He inspired my first band and my deep interest in human affairs, tradition, culture and local politics. I voted YES for the New SA simply because I couldn’t find U2’s banned records in South Africa.
5. Attie van Wyk, owner and executive head of Big Concerts who hosted U2’s two concerts in South Africa, apparently says that you admitted that the whole thing was a publicity stunt on your part? Is that true and if so why?
There was no publicity stunt, but it certainly became one. Today after unprecedented web hits and interest worldwide, the Boere genocide issue has at last been noticed. I receive correspondence from pretty much every suppressed and bullied minority group in the world.
6. Is Steve Hofmeyr in need of publicity?
You ask that only if you doubt my bona fides or live in hope that my campaign or stats are a lie, or that 3759 Boer deaths since 1994 is insignificant, or that 96% of these farm victims are not white Afrikaners. Visit here to be shocked by real stats. Track deaths on the hour in your area here. You will find our cry for help abroad too, in Ilana Mercer’s Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.
Publicity. Do you think, as a national artist, I increase my potential fan base with these provincial statements? Think carefully. Why do you think I stand alone as an artist? No one dares their career on this politically incorrect altar of patriotism. Publicity? Yes. For me? Haha. Gimme a break. The scariest is that I do what I do in total absence of power. I succeed because of my success elsewhere and because people still care to hear me out. That could change. Right now, I’ll be the gadfly for justice like Steve Biko in the 60s.
7. Attie van Wyk apparently also says that Bono doesn’t know who you are. Does that offend you and what would you say to Bono if you had the chance?
I don’t care for the pissing contest. Attie knows better than that. I want Bono to know of my guarantee that a white farmer will be slaughtered before he gets to sing Sunday Bloody Sunday in his repertoire this weekend. My question: how many slaughtered whites would warrant your sympathy, sir?
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Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.