A recent article on a gay, white and Afrikaans student member of the EFF has inspired controversial Afrikaans singer and actor Steve Hofmeyr to respond with a homophobic and racist diatribe.
In SAPA’s September 5 article on Jaco Oelofse, headlined by IOL News with “He’s gay, white and from the EFF,” the 23-year-old philosophy and political science student advocated for the nationalising of land in South Africa.
Oelofse, who is the secretary of the Tuks (University of Pretoria) EFF “student command team,” said that he supports Julius Malema’s party because “I associate with a radical party that has the interest of the downtrodden, poor and voiceless at heart.”
He went on to say: “As a gay person I also believe the EFF is the right party, they have by far the most progressive policy on gender and sexuality. The EFF fights for the equal treatment of all, we can’t exclude any groups who occupy the margins of society.”
In an open letter to the young man, published by Maroelamedia, Hofmeyr responded that he too loves philosophy, is not homophobic and makes sure that he knows his history.
“As a young philosophy student (and drama student) we were all radical,” writes Hofmeyr. “It’s a phase. Not a bad phase. It’s a caring phase,” he said, adding that Marxism “is a beautiful theory with no basis in reality” that many “outgrow after leaving campus.”
He also warned that, “Reparations are acceptable, but unless it happens over generations, it is unethical; the wrong people are rewarded and the wrong individuals are punished.”
Hofmeyr then went on to undermine any of his arguments by repeating offensive stereotypes and generalisations. He addressed Oelofse’s sexuality, telling him that that because he’s gay, children are a lesser priority and thus so too is his view on the future beyond his own.
Despite ongoing discrimination and the wave of hate crime attacks against LGBT people (and ignoring the country’s appalling epidemic of gender-based violence), he claimed that “gays (and women) are no longer social outsiders…”
He called Oelofse a “trainee gay” and stated that the “moffies” in his “friendship circle have long stopped using their sexuality to achieve or be recognised.”
Hofmeyr, outrageously, said that black people blame others for their circumstances because they don’t have “the habit of reading”; something, he wrote “that white people have been doing for millions of years.”
In recent years, Hofmeyr has styled himself as a defender of white Afrikaners, whom he believes are being oppressed in post-apartheid democratic South Africa. Critics call him racist and accuse him of instigating racial tension.
Since its formation, the EFF has taken a progressive approach towards LGBT rights, issuing statements condemning recent anti-gay legislation in Africa. In April, a Sunday Times survey found that, compared to all other South African political parties, the EFF had the highest rate of members in favour of same-sex marriage.
There are claims, however, that it has links to a new Namibian political party, the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), which is vocally homophobic.