Hofmeyr loses to puppet Chester Missing

Johanesburg - The Randburg Magistrate's Court on Friday set aside an interim protection order obtained by Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr against ventriloquist Conrad Koch and his puppet "Chester Missing".,

"Mr Hofmeyr has exposed himself to criticism, satire, ridicule and the court is not satisfied that he should be accorded the protection," magistrate Naren Sewnarain said.

He said he agreed with Koch's lawyer, Steven Budlender, who argued that Hofmeyr was seeking an order to allow views that lend themselves to scrutiny.

"We submit that there is no basis for confirming any order against the respondent," Budlender told the court.

"We submit that Hofmeyr is a public figure. Through his public and robust advocacy of racism he has invited a robust response."

Hofmeyr was accordingly required to display a greater degree of tolerance to criticism of his views than ordinary people, said Budlender.

Dan Roodt, who is not a lawyer, had brought an application for an interdict on behalf of Hofmeyr earlier this month.

Koch had challenged the interim court order against him.

Budlender said Hofmeyr wanted to have his cake and eat it.

"He wants to continue making provocative statements and when people criticise, he says they're not entitled to criticise him and therefore hides behind a protection order."

Hofmeyr tweeted on 23 October: "Sorry to offend but in my books blacks were the architects of apartheid. Go figure."

Budlender said the tweet implied that black people brought apartheid upon themselves.

Koch, in response had launched a civil campaign with his puppet Missing, against Hofmeyr's racism, he said.

The campaign publicly denounced and ridiculed Hofmeyr's views and encouraged others, including companies, to distance themselves from Hofmeyr's views.

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