On Friday, a candidate for the University of Pretoria’s student representative candidate made headlines in several national news outlets. The media buzz did not appear to be prompted by anything particularly controversial that he had said but rather by the fact that he is “gay, white and from the EFF”. The headlines didn’t mention that the student, Jaco Oelofse, is also an Afrikaner. But that’s what Steve Hofmeyr is here for.
At the weekend Hofmeyr, 90s popstar and self-proclaimed gatekeeper of all things Afrikaaner, penned an open letter to Oleofse on the Afrikaans language website Maroela Media, describing the student’s political beliefs as nothing more than a “radical” and “rebellious” student phase designed to shock older generations with “something new”.
For Hofmeyr, Oelofse’s membership in the EFF cannot be taken seriously because he is too young and only a student. “Marxism is but a beautiful theory with no foot in reality. Many outgrow it after campus,“ he writes.
He dismisses Oelofse’s belief that the land should be returned to its rightful owners, saying it’s a little late for reparations. “Reparations and corrections are acceptable, but unless it happens over generations, it is unethical; the wrong people are rewarded and the wrong individuals are punished,” says Hofmeyr.
Oelosfe told a South African Press Association reporter that he believes the EFF represents the interests of South Africa’s gay community better than any other political party but Hofmeyr brushes this too aside, implying that Oelofse is using his sexual orientation to gain prestige or recognition. (Hofmeyr also says, “to me, gays (and women) haven’t been social outsiders for a long time” but members of the LGBTIQ community might disagree with this.)
In his final point, Hofmeyr says that black people do not have a culture of reading and so will continue to blame others for their circumstances. White people meanwhile have been reading for “millions of years” and so, he concludes, “The question is, white child, Afrikaner child, what exactly is your excuse?”
You can read Hofmeyr’s full letter, in Afrikaans, on Maroela Media.