The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) has announced that former Western Cape Premier Peter Marais is its premier candidate for the province for the 2019 elections.

Marais has held many hats as a politician in the past, which included Executive Mayor of Cape Town. He quit active politics in 2004 after resigning as premier following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Marais, leader and founder of a pressure group called Bruin Belange Beweging (BBB), says he received the support of the BBB on the basis of having similar common interests with the FF Plus, such as the rights of the minority groups in the country.

Marais says he and FF Plus have been in talks since 2014. He believes that the FF Plus has common interests with his BBB organisation, such as the protection of minority groups.

“And the BBB and I, as the premier candidate, want to ensure South Africans that the Freedom Front Plus, the alternative that is presenting will lead to far greater stability and accountability to the electorate.”

Party Leader Pieter Groenewald says Marais has not been given any preferential treatment.

“You must understand that there is no agreement, written agreement or anything between the Freedom Front Plus, and as a political party and BBB as an organisation, there is no such an agreement. We have our procedures and one of it is that you have to join the Freedom Front Plus and that you go through a process within our process before it’s finalised for ensuring that our candidates are complied to certain norms and standards we are setting. And Mr Marias had to go through all these procedures before he can become a candidate and specifically, as the Premier candidate for the Western Cape.”

Marais insists the BBB will always retain its own identity, focusing on protecting the rights of coloured people. And the DA too was not left without criticism.

“Make it easy for South Africans to love each other and that is why I am with the Freedom Front Plus. This country can’t be served by rockers. I do not want to be in the DA’s position because in this they just want to play a referee and run to the courts. They do not come with any alternative.”