EDITORIAL: Hofmeyr? Seriously?

What was Afrikaans Sunday paper Rapport thinking? Getting the notorious racist and bad singer Steve Hofmeyr to write an analysis piece about South Africa’s new president and the putting out to pasture of the old one was not a terribly good idea.

Hofmeyr is no analyst. He isn’t capable of singing a new song; he just recycles his old hits, which are just some old folk songs from a rather nasty tradition. Perhaps Rapport is desperate for readers and publishing a Hofmeyr rant served as click-bait. It may “encourage debate” but we have had this debate so many times, over so many years, that it’s a bore. We no longer need to debate whether the Earth is round, do we? We don’t have to run the ramblings of flat-earthers every few years to “encourage debate”, do we?

Of course, it is Rapport’s right to publish anything it likes, but to pretend that it’s all in a progressive cause is foolish. Placing pieces by real writers such as Antjie Krog and Jacques Pauw beside Hofmeyr’s piece, as opposing views, served only to dignify Hofmeyr’s blather — it made it look like a legitimate piece of political comment, if only for a moment.

Both Krog and Pauw, on the M&G Online, have voiced their objections to this kind of treatment. We would like to quote Hofmeyr (as quoted by Max du Preez) back at himself; he is guilty of what he accuses ANC leaders of: “The full reality of South Africa is beyond their comprehension because they could never escape the homeland mentality.”

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