Cape Town - The North West University in Potchefstroom on Thursday distanced itself from Steve Hofmeyr’s singing of Die Stem at the Clover Aardklop National Arts Festival.
Hofmeyr sang a version of the old national anthem on Friday as part of a medley during the course of an official event at the festival, spokesperson Louis Jacobs said in a statement.
The performance took place at the university, which is a host sponsor of the event.
“Whilst recognising artistic freedom as well as freedom of expression in general, the NWU does not want to be associated with the use of cultural artefacts and symbols of our painful past,” he said.
“This usage is divisive and causes psychological harm. It is not in line with our educational goals.”
The organisers of Aardklop have informed the university that they too rejected the singing of Die Stem “other than as part of our current national anthem”.
“They also do not support its use as a so-called ‘song of resistance’ - as Hofmeyr refers to it - and deplore its use for a political agenda,” Jacobs said.
The festival took place from 6 to 10 October in Potchefstroom.