Puppet Chester Missing hits back at singer Steve Hofmeyr
Written by Yazeed Kamaldien
Provocative puppet Chester Missing landed back in Cape Town this weekend to celebrate his court victory against troubled Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr.
Missing and his ventriloquist sidekick Conrad Koch have had a busy week. The Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Gauteng dismissed Hofmeyr’s attempts to silence the duo.
Missing, still in his suit and tie following his court appearance, praised magistrate Naren Sewnarain for not granting Hofmeyr a protection order against him.
“The magistrate’s a genius. He said that, you know, if you’re gonna have freedom of speech it doesn’t protect you from the consequences of freedom of speech,” said Missing.
Hofmeyr sought the court order to prevent Missing and Koch from making comments about him in public or on the Internet.
A Twitter war had erupted between Koch and Hofmeyr after the latter said blacks were the architects of apartheid. Hofmeyr, not wanting to be challenged on his opinions, dragged Missing to court – making history, as the first puppet to appear in court.
Missing still seemed baffled about Hofmeyr’s court action.
“How do you take legal action so people can’t tweet you? It’s ridiculous,” he said.
Then he took a blow at Hofmeyr: “He’s so racist, his dog has to stop him from barking at black people.”
Missing said he did not see himself as an activist though.
“I’m a puppet,” he said.
But he admitted his campaign against Hofmeyr’s comments about black people was a “campaign”.
“It was saying ‘Dude, no. No further’. But we have other people to talk to now. Normal politicians,” said Missing.
This included a host of regular targets, such as “Jacob Zuma, EFF, Helen Zille, Julius Malema”.
Missing managed to also unashamedly proclaim his sex symbol status, when quizzed on whether his rising fame has made him popular with women across the land.
“I’m already huge with the ladies. I’m so sexy I ate sushi off Kenny Kunene (a wealthy local businessman who devours sushi),” he said.
Koch added: “Thuli Madonsela once waited 15 minutes after a radio interview to do a photo with Chester. So he’s doing fine.”
Missing is also gaining popularity beyond South Africa. London-based New African magazine named him among its Most Influential Africans, an annual list of powerful voices from the continent.
Next on Missing’s agenda is a documentary film about racism.
Koch meanwhile will have to deal with the after effects of touching Hofmeyr’s sensitive fans.
“I had Steve making threats to me online and I couldn’t reply. My Facebook accounts have been shut down. I’ve had intimidating SMSs from people,” he said yesterday.
He believed his comedy and political commentary played a role in “how we shape society and how we as South Africans are shaping our identity”.