A Stellenbosch activist was granted an interim protection order against right-wing singer Steve Hofmeyr to stop the entertainer from harassing him and disturbing his art installation, which features the old South African flag, News24 reported on Monday night.
Pienaar's display was a protest against the flag. He reportedly laid out the flag on a pavement in Stellenbosch, and had written the names of prominent apartheid leaders on it, including those of PW Botha and HF Verwoerd. Hofmeyr's name was also on the flag.
Pienaar reportedly invited attendees of the University of Stellenbosch's Woordfees to walk over the flag while a violinist played "Die Vlaglied".
Hofmeyr offered a reward for anyone who removed the flag, and Freedom Front Plus leader Corné Mulder reportedly said that Pienaar should get himself security.
A man then approached Pienaar, handed him a piece of paper with the words, "This flag is now expropriated without compensation", and ran away, News24 reported.
Hofmeyr tweeted in Afrikaans, "Thank you everyone. The flag is mine. Will go fetch it tomorrow."
Hofmeyr wasn't the only one upset about Pienaar's installation.
Boodskap aan @JohanPienaar: Generasie Z is GATVOL vir julle boomers se liberalistiese volkshaat! Ons SAL NIE DAT JULLE MEER SPOEG OP ONS VOLKSHELDE NIE!— Willem Petzer (@willempet) March 8, 2018
Jammer @steve_hofmeyr, die vlag is verwyder, nie meer te koop nie! pic.twitter.com/ABEb7pmBz6
The flag was reclaimed after an initial attempt to steal it.
Right-wingers tried to steal the recontextualised flag like their ancestors stole the land But thanks to progressive heroes like @WimpieGrey the flag was recovered and appropriate charges will be laid at the SAPS @News24 @annelizevanwyk @LoudMouthedChic @maggsnaidu #AboutThatFlag pic.twitter.com/Q8XfCL8Mz3— Johan Pienaar (@JohanPienaar) March 8, 2018
I've apprehended a criminal, who is now complaining about it like a little girl, while spewing hate speech on a cowardly anonymous platform. (You should have seen him trembling when I caught him.) Your actions, tweets and insinuations are deplorable and despicable.— Wimpie Greyvenstein (@WimpieGrey) March 9, 2018
Pienaar reportedly told the court that he had been booked for engagements to discuss the flag and repeat the installation. The court barred Hofmeyr from harassing him or interfering with the installation until an application to have the order made final is heard on April 25.
It later emerged that Pienaar had been a right-winger in his youth, who had disrupted a speech given by Nelson Mandela in the early 1990s. However, Pienaar said he had changed.
In 1991 as a very young student who grew up during apartheid I disrupted a speech of Nelson Mandela on the campus of UP. This is not a secret. I was wrong, I was uninformed and I was stupid. I have changed. THREAD @tumisole @LoudMouthedChic @kaysexwale @meltsieb @tim_meh87— Johan Pienaar (@JohanPienaar) March 11, 2018
Though this is not something I am proud of it is also not a fact that I hid away. Tomorrow I turn 48. I will then have spend more or less half my life under apartheid rule and the other half in a democratic society. I prefer the latter My efforts is aimed at protecting the latter— Johan Pienaar (@JohanPienaar) March 11, 2018
I am glad that my thinking has changed in the last 27 years. Fuckit I am thankful that my thinking has changed in the last 10 years, the last 5 and the last six months. In small and huge leaps. Trying to make a person who changes his thinking suspect is intellectually lazy.— Johan Pienaar (@JohanPienaar) March 11, 2018
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said it will approach the Constitutional Court seeking to have the flag declared hate speech.