This move comes after MTN announced that it withdrew its sponsorship at a large Afrikaans music festival because MTN does not support the personal views of one of the artists performing at the music festival. At the same time, MTN does not hesitate to act as sponsor for the political gatherings of the ANC and the EFF.
MTN, along with a host of other big-name sponsors, announced withdrawals from the Afrikaans is Groot music festival after a controversial tweet from part time singer and full time right wing politician Steve Hofmeyr (pictured) re-surfaced on Twitter.
The tweet read, “Sorry to offend but in my books Blacks were the architects of Apartheid. Go figure” (we are trying Stevie, we are trying but we just can’t. Whatever you are smoking, please share… – Ed.)
Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi thanked MTN, Dstv, and CocaCola for distancing themselves from the music event and warned car manufacturer Toyota, to continue their sponsorship at their own peril.
Ernst Roets, Deputy CEO of AfriForum, says that MTN’s criteria for sponsorship boils down to them having to support the personal views of those who are involved with a project. It can therefore be concluded that MTN, with its sponsorships to the ANC and EFF, support the views of both these parties.
“The ANC threatened that white farmers’ land would be forcefully taken away if they did not willingly hand it over to black people and the EFF incites crime against people based on their race. Both parties are also guilty of hate speech against minorities. As it were, MTN admits with this step that they condone the ANC and EFF’s racism,” says Roets.
MTN said in a statement that they cannot be part of the particular Afrikaans music festival because they strive to bring South Africans closer together and that the company wants to strengthen its brand with the choice of sponsorships that are entered into. MTN added that the personal view of only one individual is sufficient for them to withdraw their sponsorship.
“With this premise MTN therefore declares that they support the personal (and sometimes blatantly racist) views of each individual that is involved with the ANC and the EFF,” Roets says.