Former Western Cape Premier Peter Marais has been announced as the Freedom Front Plus Premier candidate for the Western Cape.
The veteran politician — who is also a former Cape Town Mayor — was tipped for the candidature after the party tweeted on Monday that a former provincial premier would be joining their ranks.
Marais is a political journeyman who has been a member of the National Party, the Democratic Alliance, the New Labour Party, Cope, and most recently connected to ICOSA, a minor Karoo-based party formed by controversial Beaufort West politician Truman Prince.
He resigned as Western Cape Premier in 2002 after allegations of sexual harassment were levelled against him.
But Marais says his decision to join the mainly Afrikaaner Freedom Front Plus is not his, but that of his civil society organisation the Bruin Bemagtiging Beweging, which he says was established to look after coloured interests in opposition to Affirmative Action.
“This decision is not a decision of Peter Marais as an individual. It was a decision of my organisation Die Bruin Bemagtiging Beweging (The Brown Empowerment Movement), after we’ve consulted with many organisations white and coloured.” he said.
The Freedom Front Plus has described Marais as the Western Cape’s most experienced politician, adding he will keep the Democratic Alliance on its toes.
“Mr Marais is a seasoned politician and as premier candidate, he offers such expertise and experience that it undoubtedly makes him the Western Cape’s top Premier Candidate,” Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald said.
On his campaign strategy Marais said he will not just be targeting one single demographic.
“I’m not counting on coloured people for support. I’m counting on rational people for support. People who can think. Whether you’re white or coloured, or Christian, or black. If they support our values then we make a call for support from them too”, Marais said.
Marais says his election platform will be based on equal rights for all. Criticising what he calls a policy of exclusion of minorities like affirmative action and employment equity, Marais said: “It doesn’t matter what colour you are. All people come from brown people. Black people are just darker brown people. And white people are just lighter brown. No one is black, and no one is white. It’s just something that was thought up.”