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By Getrude Makhafola

Premium Journalist

‘Let the whites run the country,’ says FF Plus black supporters

Black members were mislead about what the FF Plus stands for, says a political analyst.

Black members of the Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) in Limpopo say they are tired of the “ineffective” ANC and prefer white people to take over the running of South Africa.

The FF Plus members, who grew up in rural Bela Bela, did not mince their words, making it clear that it is time black leaders make way for whites.

Wilhelmina Msiza, a 36-year-old resident of Bela Bela, said she is a former supporter of the ANC and had stopped taking part in elections years ago.

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She recently joined the FF Plus and will for the first time cast her vote for the party on 29 May, she said.

“It’s been 30 years of promises from the ANC, I am tired. We are jobless and have no water. People criticised the apartheid system, but at least everyone had a job,” she said.

Msiza was six years old when the first democratic elections took place in 1994.

Black-led parties ‘taking people nowhere’

Msiza said she believed the FF Plus and its leader Pieter Groenewald should be given a chance.

“They tell the truth and do things accordingly, and they do not discriminate, that is why I support FF Plus.

“I always tell those who criticise my political affiliation that black parties will lead them nowhere. They have no jobs nor houses, while their politicians enrich themselves.

“The ANC is ineffective, it is a failure. Allow white people to come in and undo the ANC’s bad decisions,” Msiza said.

Another member, David Moela, said he travelled from Limpopo to attend the manifesto launch in Pretoria earlier this month and was happy to meet Groenewald.

He said he is a community activist and joined FF Plus in 2021.

‘It was not easy to switch’

Moela lives at Jacob Zuma informal settlement outside Bela Bela and decried the lack of services 20 years after people settled in the area.

Also a former ANC voter, Moela said it was not easy for him to switch to FF Plus.

He blamed the ANC-led Bela Bela Municipality for the lack of services in his area.

“There is a high court order instructing the municipality to build us sewerage system and water pipeline so that people can access services, but nothing has happened.

“I joined FF Plus then to help fight the municipality. It was very difficult to move from a revolutionary movement to what is considered a former apartheid-era party, but I am happy about my decision,” he said.


Political analyst Goodenough Mashego said it seemed black supporters of a formerly right-wing party are misinformed about what it stands for.

“They say there were jobs during apartheid regime, that is true, but we need to define what was a job back then.

“Most blacks under apartheid could not build themselves houses nor afford to take their children to school.

“Those who are saying things were better then should be the elderly, it’s sad when it’s being said by young people who never even experienced the wrath of apartheid.”

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Mashego said the black Bela Bela community were mostly born and brought up on the farms, and that Msiza and Moela’s views should be understood in that context.

“The fact that some land is no longer being farmed and therefore they are not working seems to be a problem.

“Regarding those who miss the old days, I think South Africans suffer from intellectual bankruptcy because it is this belief that industrial parks created back in homelands then were functioning because they were meant to keep them in those areas, they were never wanted in the cities.

“We need to move forward from apartheid architect like those and find out ways to move forward and decentralise the economy,” said Mashego.

‘We work for everyone’

According to spokesperson and parliamentary whip, MP Wouter Wessels, other races are realising that his party works well with everyone, increasing support across the country.

He said FF Plus policies have shown over the years that it is able to create a better South Africa for all.

“Many still have misperceptions about the FF Plus, but they are seeing how our public representatives act in the best interests of citizens regardless of race and skin colour.

“I think that resonates with different communities across the spectrum because in many instances other parties only assist if you are their card carrying member or supporter, the FF Plus does not discriminate.”

Black members feature higher on the party’s provincial and national lists, he added.

“Our policies do not advocate Afrikaaners and Afrikaans only, we stand for multilingualism and stand for education in your mother tongue.

“We are the only party that is actually saying that it is a disgrace that we have English or Afrikaans only medium schools 30 years later.

“We should have already developed other South African languages as mediums in schools,” Wessels said.

FF Plus’ first black councillor

The predominantly white FF Plus had its first black councilor Manicks Mpunwana elected in Bela Bela council after the 2021 local polls.

It was in Bela Bela where Mpunwana was able to recruit members such as Moela and Msiza.

The party was founded by right-wing leader and military general Constand Viljoen in 1994.

The late Viljoen had led the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, consisting of Afrikaaner militias before breaking away and starting Freedom Front to contest the country’s democratic elections.

He handed over the leadership of the party to Groenewald’s predecessor Pieter Mulder in 2001.

Wessels said FF Plus is growing among blacks, especially in areas such as Free State and Limpopo.

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