The dust has somewhat settled on the 2019 Elections, but that doesn’t mean the rumblings of discontent are over. The sixth Parliament in our democratic history has promised to throw up some intriguing sub-plots, but it will be difficult to look past Wynand Boshoff: The Freedom Front Plus MP is a resident of Orania and the grandson of Hendrik Verwoerd.
Wynand Boshoff and Hendrik Verwoerd
Dubbed as the “architect of apartheid”, Verwoerd is reviled for his influential role in the evil system, which severely limited the civil liberties of black citizens in South Africa. Some 53 years after his assassination, Boshoff is back in the National Assembly. But as the newly-elected politician told the Cape Argus, he wants to be seen “as his own man”:
“Throughout my life I’ve got used to the fact that my grandpa [Verwoerd] was a politician, revered in some communities, viewed as a villain by others. I’ve been met with friendly and unfriendly comments. I’m my own person and the main issues I want to address are those of minority groups.”
Wynand Boshoff and his Orania connection
Far from being an emphatic discarding of his grandfather’s work, Wynand Boshoff had allowed Verwoerd the benefit of the doubt. The problematic relationships don’t just end at the third generation, either. The MP’s father actually founded the whites-only town of Orania, and his brother remains the president of the racial enclave.
What is more, Boshoff actually spends a portion of his time living in Orania to be with his family. The much-maligned settlement, seen as a rejection of racial harmony and South Africa in the 21st-century, hardly embraces the ideals of our democratic Parliament. Regardless of his family, this issue alone puts the MP in a difficult position.
Freedom Front Plus stand by their man
The Freedom Front Plus are not backing down on this matter, either. They are fully supporting Wynand Boshoff as he heads to Parliament, despite a whole raft of criticism. Orania remained the top trend on Twitter this Wednesday, and there was very little in the way of positive sentiment to report.
“The FF Plus has consolidated its extraordinary growth at the polls with an expert and experienced team of Members of Parliament and office bearers to represent the interests of the party’s supporters on the highest political platforms.”
“Among the ten Members of Parliament, three have doctorate degrees (Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the FF Plus, Dr Corné Mulder, leader in the Western Cape and Dr Wynand Boshoff, leader in the Northern Cape).”
Freedom Front Plus
Parliament set for a feisty return
What truly rankles South Africans is the fact that Boshoff has been elected democratically. For many, it is upsetting that those who endorse settlements like Orania now have a big enough say in who represents this country. Unfortunately for some, democracy means having to entertain these views, even if they are abhorrent to a majority.
Parliament is back in session next week, and we are avoiding hyperbole when we say it could be the most engrossing house since 1994. There are 18 more EFF members to contend with the FF+’s surprise surge, and Patricia de Lille is likely to square off with her former DA colleagues.
Call it what you want, but the political landscape of Mzansi is far from boring.