Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) leader, Pieter Groenewald, has rejected allegations of nepotism in the party.
This comes after his son and the wife of the party’s National Head of Elections and Strategy, Wouter Wessels, were selected to become Members of Parliament (MPs).
The FF Plus leader’s son Michael and Wessels’ wife Tamarin are among the 10 FF Plus designated members who will be sworn in during the first sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Both Groenewald senior and Wouter Wessels will also return to Parliament.
Groenewald says the two young MPs have been chosen on merit.
“I think it is unfair to say it is nepotism. I think people must understand that the Freedom Front Plus only has one criterion for people who go to Parliament or all their public office bearers and that is merit. And I can assure the people that those members are going to Parliament on merit. And I think it is unfair just because someone has earned a position on merit and because there is a family tie, now the person is not allowed to do that,” says Groenewald.
Groenewald says it’s unfair to single out his party for selecting designated MPs with family ties in the party.
He says the criticism against him and his party is hypocritical.
“I also want to state it very clearly that it is not unique to the Freedom Front Plus. You go to the DA, you have a married couple there (Natasha) Mazonne and (Kevin) Mileham. If you go to the Free State there is about five families of the DA who have some public office positions. But even if you go to the President, he appointed his brother-in-law in cabinet. You have the minister of Defence Mapisa-Nqakula and her husband is also in Parliament. So it is not unique to the Freedom Front Plus and I say if you want to criticize, be fair and just. It is unfair now to just criticise the Freedom Front Plus,” argues Groenewald.