Verwoerd's grandson: judge me on my ideals, not my grandfather's

Wynand Boshoff, grandson of the architect of apartheid, HF Verwoerd, is headed to parliament where he will campaign on environmental issues and the rights of minority groups.
Wynand Boshoff, grandson of the architect of apartheid, HF Verwoerd, is headed to parliament where he will campaign on environmental issues and the rights of minority groups.
Image: Facebook/ Wynand Boshoff

Dr Wynand Boshoff, grandson of former prime minister HF Verwoerd, has asked South Africans not to judge him based on who his grandfather was.

Boshoff and the town in which he lives, Orania, have dominated trends lists following a News 24 report that he is headed to parliament to represent the FF+.

In an interview with TimesLIVE, Boshoff said that while he has seen the criticism, he takes none of it personally. "I take this in the spirit of competition. Politics is not a harmonious environment. People have different ideas and ideals and I want to be judged on those and not based on who my grandfather was."

Politics runs in his family and this move was only natural for him, said Boshoff, whose grandfather was SA's prime minister between 1958 and 1966. "I will not distance myself from who my parents or grandparents are and I think it should be more interesting that I am headed to parliament than controversial."

Boshoff said he is open to the possibility that not everyone will cheer for him in parliament, but asked only that people give him a chance.

"They need to relax. We should relax and if my conduct is somewhat unacceptable then we would have to take it from there." 

Speaking of his goals and the social concerns he wants to raise in the house, he said he is passionate about environmental issues and feels that not nearly enough is being done to address them. He also aims to advocate for "the recognition of the minority".

"I am passionate about the rights of the minority and I am an environmental activist. There is not enough expertise on such matter in parliament and I intend to be the person who sees to the needs of our environment."

The FF+ showed massive improvement in the recent elections. In 2014 the party secured only 165,715 votes (0.9% of votes cast) but grew to 414,864 (2.4%) in 2019. 

On social media, people weighed in on the news, expressing concerns that the "grandson of an apartheid architect" would be referred to as an "honorable member" of the house, while some called for the dismantling of Orania, which was founded Boshoff's father, Prof Carel Boshoff in 1993. 

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