Last year, Pick n Pay and Jaguar Land Rover South Africa said they would review their sponsorship of the Afrikaans is Groot festival following comments by one of the performers, Steve Hofmeyr.
Jaguar Land Rover SA media relations manager Lesley Sutton, said the company would focus on its international ties with the Rugby World Cup and the Bloodhound SSC world land speed record. Both take place at the same time as the Afrikaans is Groot concerts, said Sutton. Pick n Pay, a sponsor since 2012, said it had informed the concert organisers a few weeks ago of its decision.
In October Hofmeyr caused a storm on social media when he tweeted “Sorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of apartheid. Go figure”. Comedian and ventriloquist Conrad Koch and his puppet Chester Missing questioned the companies’ relationship with Hofmeyr in a series of tweets and on a blog.
Dan Roodt on behalf of Hofmeyr, unsuccessfully sought a protection order for Hofmeyr against Koch and the puppet. AIG spokesperson Barnard Beukman wrote to the companies to thank them for their support in the past and said their goal was only to further Afrikaans music.
Hofmeyr would still perform at their concerts.
On Twitter on Tuesday, Hofmeyr tweeted: “Boycotts won’t change my observation that Africa never did&still (sic) doesn’t inspire integration #ArchitectsOfApartheid”. Koch tweeted on his Chester Missing account: “It’s official, @PicknPay and @LandRoverZA have withdrawn sponsorship of Steve Hofmeyr’s gigs. Well done for taking a stand against racism.” – Sapa