Steve Hofmeyr on old SA flag: Don’t ban things because they gain value

21 May 2019 - 06:46 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Steve Hofmeyr says that things gain value through bans.
Steve Hofmeyr says that things gain value through bans.
Image: Supplied

Controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr has suggested that banning something only makes it powerful.

He was referring to the banning of the old SA flag. Hofmeyr said the minute something is banned, "it acquires value".

Early this year, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and SA Human Rights Commission submitted an application to ban the old flag on grounds that is was profoundly humiliating and degrading.

The foundation and the commission were seeking an order declaring that gratuitous displays of the apartheid-era flag constituted hate speech, unfair discrimination, and harassment based on race.

AfriForum opposed the application, saying the ban would be an infringement of the right to freedom of expression.

AfriForum's counsel Mark Oppenheimer said the organisation's case was that all displays - whether offensive or not - were protected by the freedom of expression provision in the constitution.

In his Instagram post, Hofmeyr said that old flag, among three other flags, "define" him.

"My life has many flags as I enjoy symbols, heritage and history. These four, through good&bad, define me. But the moment you ban one, it acquires value. So don't."