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By 3 December 2014 | Categories: feature articles

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I was a bit stuck when it came to what to write about this month until, like a gift straight from the heavens, sent with love from the gods of comedy, I discovered that South African political lobbying group Afriforum has released a GPS voiced by bad-singer-turned-worse-political-activist Steve Hofmeyr.

I’m no developer, but I would imagine that the app development is to web development what putt-putt is to professional golf. I base my assumption, that developing apps is relatively easy, on the fact that Afriforum has now developed a GPS app. Afriforum is an organisation better known for far right-wing politics and fighting for the rights of South Africa’s white minority than for their contribution to app development, or satellite navigation, or helping people who are lost, unless your definition of lost is anyone that votes for any party other than the Freedom Front Plus. 

And I’m not sure exactly why Afriforum launched their GPS app, but I’m glad they did, as it makes my job as writer of this column significantly easier, and that’s thanks especially to their choice of voice artist. If recent history has taught us one thing, it is that Steve Hofmeyr, a cheesy Afrikaans pop star who was once known for his Neil Diamond covers and is now better known for both for the allegedly high amount of illegitimate children he has and for his racist politics, is one of South Africa’s greatest comedy goldmines. The fact that Comedy Central spent an entire night on roasting him on television is proof of this.

The jokes write themselves. And here is a selection, written not by me but by some people on Twitter after I posted about this, commenting that it’s probably the only GPS that, regardless of which destination you choose, sends you to whites-only town Orania instead.

“It has two directions. Right and far right” –  

@TomEatonSA

“It relies on the principle that 3 right turns are better than one left turn” –  @Wiaan13

“Dreadful GPS to use. When you start it up it belts out Die Stem before hitting on your wife”

–  @ShaunWewege

“After a while it starts producing little illegitimate GPSes” –  @roadie123

“It’s the GPS for when you want to know the quickest route to Australia” – @ThokozaneMahl

And those were just a few on them.

So forgive me if this column is not much of an actual assessment of Afriforum’s GPS. I could tell you all about how it’s a ‘complete mobile GPS with voice guided navigation system and integrated Logbook functionality’ (which in itself is quite funny, as Afriforum are not known for embracing integration), but I can’t. I have already used my entire word count on cheap Steve Hofmeyr jokes.

For all I know, though, it’s a decent GPS. It could even be the only GPS that can time-travel, taking its users back to the ‘good-old days’ of apartheid. If so, Afriforum are much more talented at app development than I gave them credit for.

Article first published in TechSmart 134 (November 2014).

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