H.F Verwoed, the authoritarian Afrikaner nationalist, has long been considered as the "architect of apartheid." He championed vociferously the official creation of Apartheid when he served as prime minister of South Africa from 1958 to 1966. And now, his grandson is making his way to the South African Parliament on a Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) ticket.
Wynand Boshoff scored a seat in the National Assembly. He is the son of Orania founder Prof. Carel Boshoff and FF Plus leader in the Northern Cape. Orania is an "all-white" town in the Northern Cape. The party has been gradually gaining some ground. This can been seen from the 2014 figures and the 2019 figures. In 2014, the party received 165 715 national votes. This time it got 414 864 votes. Its overall national support base is 2.38%.
Boshoff's mother Anna was the daughter of H.F Verwoed. Boshoff claims that he does not want to be judged based on what his granddad is infamously known for. He says that he advocates for for an equal society. And he also says that while in Parliament, he will be representing minority groups. Not just Afrikaners, but also the Coloured community.
The party's election campaign manager said, "He cares about South Africa and is a strong fighter for equal rights and a better future. Judge him on that and not his family connections...It's not fair judge him on his family's connections."
There are some quarters bemoaning the fact that not as many black people showed up for the elections, and that white people showed up and that is why they voted their own into Parliament. But then some go on to say should the grandson be judged on the sins of his grandfather, or should people let him carve his own path?
It may feel like an insult, it may feel like democratic rights are being exercised well. It's all about angle and perspective.
Or, as South Africans could be bickering among themselves, white people are attempting to make their way back again into mainstream politics.
One may still view this as retrogressive for South Africa.
But when one takes into account the Orania-links that Boshoff has, it also becomes clear that thoughts of white supremacy are gaining foothold of South African politics bit by bit.
News24 reports, "In the past years Orania, where he has lived since 1993, was his 'weekend home' as he served as a councillor in the Sol Plaatje Municipality in Kimberley."
Header image credit - The Citizen