Steve Hofmeyr found guilty.
The Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court ruled against musician Steve Hofmeyr on Monday after it found he had harassed activist Johan Pienaar. The court is satisfied the respondent [Steve Hofmeyr] had engaged in the harassment of the applicant [Johan Pienaar]. The court is satisfied that harm has been suffered by the applicant,” the eight-page judgment, handed down by senior Magistrate M Sprag, read on Monday.
“The judgment, which I have now had time to study, is a complete vindication of the points we raised in our original application before the court and amounts to a condemnation of Mr Hofmeyr’s actions in this regard as harassment, which caused harm to myself,” Pienaar said in a statement on Monday.
Last year, Pienaar laid down the old oranje, blanje, blou (orange, white, blue) flag on a pavement in Stellenbosch with the names of some of the most prominent apartheid architects, and what he called enablers, written on it.
The activist hauled the musician to court after Hofmeyr tweeted he would offer a reward of R1 500 to anyone who removed the flag from the pavement.
Following Hofmeyer’s tweets, a man approached Pienaar and gave him a piece of paper with the words “this flag is now expropriated without compensation” written on it, before grabbing it and running away.
Hofmeyr allegedly acknowledged receipt of the flag through a tweet that stated, “Dankie almal. Die vlag is myne. Sal home more gaan haal” (Thank you everyone. The flag is mine. Will go fetch it tomorrow), News24 earlier reported.
The court also found on a “balance of probabilities that there is prima facie evidence presented by the applicant”.
As a result, the court granted a final order in summary, instructing Hofmeyr to cease and desist from harassing Pienaar or encouraging the theft of the flag.
He was also ordered to post a tweet on top of his Twitter page for the period of three months (within 24 hours) to withdraw the reward and instruction. The Afrikaans musician has since taken to Twitter to withdraw the reward.
“I hereby withdraw any reward I previously made to anybody who would want to steal or remove the contextualised South African flag belonging to Johan Pienaar,” he tweeted on Monday at 12:20pm.
Pienaar said Hofmeyr’s counsel had indicated they would be appealing the judgment.
“I am confident that such an appeal will have no reasonable prospect of success,” he added.
News24‘s attempts to contact Hofmeyr and his publicist, Leeza Mulder, for comment were not successful at the time of publication.