'Apartheid' tweet didn't offend blacks, court hears

2014-11-27 14:54

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Johanesburg - A tweet by Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr that black people were the architects of apartheid did not offend blacks, the Randburg Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.

"In my published column, I am saying that the so-called apartheid tweet by Steve did not offend black people... it offended white liberals," Daniel Roodt, representing Hofmeyr, told the court.

He read an excerpt from a column he wrote, and published in Afrikaans. He translated it to English for the court.

Roodt, who is not a lawyer, brought an application for an interdict on behalf of Hofmeyr.

On 10 November, Hofmeyr secured a court order against Conrad Koch, known through his puppet "Chester Missing", to prevent him from harassing the singer on Twitter.

The order prevents Koch and his puppet from threatening, harassing, or making defamatory statements against Hofmeyr.

Koch, represented by advocate Steven Budlender, is challenging the interim court order against him.

Magistrate Naren Sewnarain asked Roodt whether the tweet amounted to harassment. The harassment act provides for a protection order against harassment.

Roodt said the tweet was open to interpretation and it was difficult to explain the tweet further.

"...but Mr Hofmeyr explained it in less than 140 character," said Sewnarain.

Roodt said Hofmeyr said "..go figure" at the end of the tweet.

He said Hofmeyr also contested that apartheid was a crime against humanity before 1994.

"Hofmeyr contends that everyone who participated in the pre-1994 South Africa, through homelands and so on, is jointly responsible for apartheid, regardless of colour."

Roodt argued that a permanent order should be made against Missing.

"If not granted, there will be an outrage against Hofmeyr everywhere he goes because of the respondent's conduct on social media and everywhere else," Roodt said.

Budlender was expected to present his arguments against making the interim order permanent.

Read more on:    steve hofmeyr  |  conrad koch  |  johannesburg  |  racism

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