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African Human Rights Coalition's Statement on the Anti-LGBTQI+ Comments by Singer Steve Hofmeyr

Steve Hofmeyr is a South African singer, songwriter, writer, actor and former TV presenter. He is also the richest South African musician in South Africa. Wikipedia Born: August 29, 1964 (age 57 years), Pretoria, South Africa Spouse: Janine van der Vyver (m. 2014), Natasha Sutherland (m. 1998–2008) Children: Benjamin Hofmeyr, Armand Hofmeyr, Devon Hofmeyr, Sebastian Steve Hofmeyr, Charissa Hofmeyr

Melanie Nathan, in her capacity as Executive Director of African Human Rights Coalition (AHRC):

Steve Hofmeyr, a South African performer, has made some denigrating and hateful remarks against the LGBTQI+ community on video, uploaded to social media, to include Facebook.

After his insinuation that bestiality is reflected in the “+”and hence included in the LGBTQI+ community through its acronym, he purported to walk the comment back in subsequent video remarks.

He asserted the notion that LGBTQI+ people are the oppressors and then proceeded to cite a laundry list of hateful trope that “he does not do” – a manipulative mechanism to create the negative assertion that these things are attributable to LGBTQI+ people and the supporters of equality. Mr Hofmeyr is a smart man. He knows exactly what he is doing with this degradation of his LGBTQI+ people.

There can be no good from a speech that scapegoats and gaslights a minority subject to violence, while it still seeks global decriminalization and full equality. This speech must be called out for what it is. That is hateful and harmful. At AHRC we see the end result of speech of this nature. This type of speech gives license to exact violence against the LGBTQI+ community, and such often results in assaults, psychological trauma, and worse, all leading to the forcible displacement of LGBTQI+ people. Anyone, including his fans, praising this hateful speech, or spreading it as if it is gospel, ought to understand that they are participating in the incitement of violence.

He should know better. He is a South African, from a country where such hate speech is subject to criminal penalties, and a country where the new Constitution of former President Nelson Mandela includes LGBTQI+ people with full equality. Currently in Namibia on tour, Hofmeyr ought not speak in this manner, especially as a guest or performer in a country that excludes and discriminates against its LGBTQI+ community. He is speaking in a region where people are harmed by his words.

Hofmeyr has a large platform and a big voice. He is a celebrity with hundreds of thousands of fans. Instead of being a good ambassador for the principles of South Africa’s constitution, he is disrespecting it with this attack against LGBTQI+ people and the ideal of equality for all. With his words, Hofmeyr is proving to be the opposite of a worthy ambassador for South Africa and also for its music industry.

He has forgotten Madiba’s words where the late President said: “Never, never, never again will South African be the skunk of the world” when ensuring LGBTQI+ people’s rights were protected and included.

Over 32 countries in Africa criminalize LGBTQI+ people simply for who they are attracted to or because of their authentic gender identities. His attacks are contextualized in a climate of persecution: He is actually attacking a minority that is seeking decriminalization from the draconian legislation that colonizers used to criminalize human sexuality.

AHRC is calling on Steve Hofmeyr to publish a clear retraction and apology to his fans, the LGBTQI+ community in every African country, and especially his own people in South Africa and Namibia. Failing this within 48 hours of this publication, AHRC will support the developing coalition of concerned human rights organizations and defenders to file a formal complaint and any requisite lawsuits. In the U.S.A we will submit his name to be added to the Non-Visa list here in the United States, under the new law banning people who violate the human and civil rights of LGBTQI people.

Melanie Nathan Executive Director African Human Rights Coalition


JUST IN 4/12/22:

Eileen Carter of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAMRK) has confirmed that it has directed a letter of appeal to Steve Hofmeyr, following his statements about the LGBTIQ+ community. SAMRK has received more than 31 complaints from the public about Hofmeyr's hateful comments against the LGBTQ+ community. The following is requested of Hofmeyr (to which he must respond before the Commission turns him over to the Court of Equality): A non-profit organization in Gqeberha demands, among other things, R500 000 as compensation from Hofmeyr. The Commission requests Hofmeyr to apologize to LGBTQI community and to his followers on his social media channels 20 hour community service at a centre to support the promotion of human rights. Joining educational classes by the Commission on diversity, inclusion and human rights. Hofmeyr has until Thursday, April 28, to respond to the claims. Hofmeyr has not yet issued a statement about the SAMRK's decision.


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