The Afrikaans is Groot (AIG) concerts in Pretoria will go ahead as planned and security will be tight, the organisers said on Sunday, following threats by the ANCYL in Tshwane to march to the event.
“We again want to confirm that effective measures is in place to ensure safety for concertgoers,” AIG spokesman Barnard Beukman said in a statement.
The African National Congress Youth League had planned to march against Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr who was due to participate in the AIG events at Moreleta Church between November 14 and 22.
Hofmeyr has been in the spotlight following tweets about apartheid.
In October, Hofmeyr tweeted: “Sorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of Apartheid. Go figure.”
The tweet caused a stir on social media and Hofmeyr was accused of being racist, stupid, and a peddler of ignorance. Beeld reported that he also had to return a sponsored bakkie to a dealership in Port Elizabeth after complaints during a tour there.
The dealership lent popular Afrikaans singers a car for two to three days whenever they performed in the city and had wanted to remain neutral during the controversy.
A column in The Times by ventriloquist and comedian Conrad Koch questioned supermarket Pick n Pay and Land Rover for sponsoring the AIG festival.
The ANCYL in Tshwane called on progressive Afrikaners to reject people like Hofmeyr, who disseminated “racial venom”.
The organisation said while they fully respected the right of all national groups to practise their cultures in peace, they wholeheartedly condemned the statements made by Hofmeyr.
“We call on progressive Afrikaners to reject and isolate those who insist on spreading racial venom… We cannot allow racism to occur without consequence and it is thus critical that we make this call for the isolation and confrontation of racist elements,” spokesman Justin de Swardt said in a statement on Tuesday.
Beukman said they had taken note of the possibility of a march but the ANCYL would have to go through due process to apply at the local authorities “and during that process we will have to be consulted and informed. We also took note that they indicated peaceful protest. We will keep abreast of the situation and keep on communicating with concertgoers”.
The ANCYL could not be reached for comment on when the march would be held. SAPA