Freedom Front Plus

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Freedom Front Plus
Vryheidsfront Plus
Leader Pieter Groenewald
Chairperson Anton Alberts
Spokesperson Anton Alberts
Chief Whip Corné Mulder (af)
Founder Constand Viljoen
Founded 1 March 1994; 23 years ago (1994-03-01)
(as Freedom Front)
Merger of Freedom Front
Conservative Party (in 2003)
AEB (af) (in 2003)
Federal Alliance (in 2006)
Split from Afrikaner Volksfront
Headquarters Highveld Office Park
Charles de Gaulle Crescent
Centurion, Gauteng
Youth wing Freedom Front Plus Youth
Ideology Afrikaner nationalism
Afrikaner self-determination
Afrikaans language rights
Christian democracy
Economic liberalism
Social conservatism
Political position Centre-right to Right-wing
National affiliation Collective for Democracy
International affiliation Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
Colours      Green      Dark orange
National Assembly seats
4 / 400
NCOP seats
0 / 90
Website
www.vfplus.org.za

The Freedom Front Plus (FF+; Afrikaans: Vryheidsfront Plus, VF+) is a modern national South African political party that was formed (as the Freedom Front) in 1994. It is led by Pieter Groenewald. Current policy positions include a commitment to self determination, amending affirmative action and land reform to protect the interests of Afrikaners[1] and protecting the rights of minorities in an open democracy.

Along with other smaller parties, the FF+ has entered into coalition with the larger Democratic Alliance (DA) after the 2016 municipal elections to govern Johannesburg, Tshwane and several other municipalities.

Foundation and early years[edit]

The Volkstaat as proposed by Freedom Front[2]

The Freedom Front was founded on 1 March 1994 by members of the Afrikaner community under Constand Viljoen, after he had left the Afrikaner Volksfront amidst disagreements. Seeking to achieve his goals through political means, Viljoen registered the Freedom Front with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on 4 March 1994 to take part in the April 1994 general elections. (This date has also been given as 7 March.) On 12 March 1994 Viljoen handed in a list of candidates for the FF to the IEC, confirming that his party would take part in the elections. Viljoen considered the election as a chance for an unofficial referendum, and urged Afrikaners to vote for the Freedom Front in their numbers to show support for the idea of a "volkstaat", a separate nation for Afrikaners away from the rest of South Africa.

In the election, under the leadership of General Viljoen, the Freedom Front received 2.2% of the national vote (with 424,555 votes cast), earning nine seats in the National Assembly, and 3.3% (with 639,643 votes cast) of the combined vote to the nine provincial legislatures. This suggested that many Afrikaners had split their vote. The party performed the best in the rural areas of the former Transvaal and Orange Free State, and was noted by the new deputy president Thabo Mbeki as representing possibly as much as half the Afrikaner voting population in these areas, with the strongest support among farmers and the working class.[3]

Freedom Front support would gradually melt away in the coming years, as the party was strung along in ultimately fruitless negotiations with the African National Congress (ANC) to create a volkstaat, making the party lose its importance. It would also receive increased competition from new parties such as the Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging. In the 1999 election their support dropped to 0.8% (127,217 votes cast) with three seats in the National Assembly and between 1-2% in their stronghold provinces. This represented a respectable portion of the Afrikaner vote, but nowhere near earlier levels. The party's support has remained relatively stable in all national elections held since.

In 2001, Viljoen handed over the leadership of the Freedom Front to Pieter Mulder.

Formation of the Freedom Front Plus[edit]

Freedom Front logo between 1994–2003
Map showing the party with the largest number of votes in each voting district in the 2009 election of the Gauteng Provincial Legislature. African National Congress Democratic Alliance Inkatha Freedom Party Congress of the People Freedom Front Plus

In 2003, shortly before the 2004 general election, the Conservative Party, the Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging and the Freedom Front decided to contest the election as a single entity under the name Freedom Front Plus (FF+), led by Mulder. Later, also the Federal Alliance joined the VF+/FF+.

In the 2004 general election, support for the Freedom Front Plus rose slightly to 0.89% (139,465 votes cast). The party won one seat in most of the provincial legislatures, and four seats in the National Assembly.

In the 2006 municipal elections, the Freedom Front Plus received 1% of the popular vote (252,253 votes cast).

In the 2009 general election, the party received 0.83% (146,796 votes cast) and retained its four seats in the National Assembly but losing its seats in the provincial legislatures of North West, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape. After the elections, the Freedom Front's leader Pieter Mulder was appointed as Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries by the new President Jacob Zuma.

In the 2014 general election, the FF+ increased its vote slightly to 0.9%. It retained its 4 MPs, and also regained a seat in the North West.

The party has enjoyed consistent landslide victories in the Afrikaner enclave Orania.[4]

Leaders[edit]

No. Image Name Term start Term end Notes
1 General Constand Viljoen.jpg Constand Viljoen 1 March 1994 26 June 2001 Chief of the South African Army (1976 – 1980)
Chief of the South African Defence Force (1980 – 1985)
2 20130916-OSEC-BW-0002 Pieter Mulder.jpg Pieter Mulder 26 June 2001 12 November 2016 Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (2009–2014)
3 Pieter Groenewald 12 November 2016[5] Member of the National Assembly of South Africa since 2009

Electoral performance[edit]

These charts show the electoral performance for the Freedom Front Plus since the advent of democracy in 1994:

National elections[edit]

Election Total votes Share of vote Seats +/- Government
1994 424,555 2.2%
9 / 400
in opposition
1999 127,217 0.8%
3 / 400
Decrease 6 in opposition
2004 139,465 0.9%
4 / 400
Increase 1 in opposition
2009 146,796 0.8%
4 / 400
Steady ±0 in opposition
2014 165,715 0.9%
4 / 400
Steady ±0 in opposition

Provincial elections[edit]

Election Eastern Cape Free State Gauteng Kwazulu-Natal Limpopo Mpumalanga North-West Northern Cape Western Cape
 % Seats  % Seats  % Seats  % Seats  % Seats  % Seats  % Seats  % Seats  % Seats
1994 0.8%
0 / 56
6.0%
2 / 30
6.2%
5 / 86
0.5%
0 / 81
2.2%
1 / 40
5.7%
2 / 30
4.6%
1 / 30
6.0%
2 / 30
2.1%
1 / 42
1999 0.3%
0 / 63
2.1%
1 / 30
1.3%
1 / 73
0.2%
0 / 80
0.7%
0 / 49
1.7%
1 / 30
1.4%
1 / 33
1.7%
1 / 30
0.4%
0 / 42
2004 0.3%
0 / 63
2.5%
1 / 30
1.3%
1 / 73
0.3%
0 / 80
0.6%
0 / 49
1.2%
1 / 30
1.3%
1 / 33
1.6%
1 / 30
0.6%
0 / 42
2009 0.2%
0 / 63
2.0%
1 / 30
1.6%
1 / 73
0.8%
0 / 80
0.6%
0 / 49
0.9%
0 / 30
1.8%
0 / 33
1.2%
0 / 30
0.4%
0 / 42
2014 0.3%
0 / 63
2.1%
1 / 30
1.2%
1 / 73
0.2%
0 / 80
0.7%
0 / 49
0.8%
0 / 30
1.7%
1 / 33
1.1%
0 / 30
0.6%
0 / 42

Municipal elections[edit]

Election Ward + PR votes Share of vote
1995-96 230 845 2.7%
2000 Not released 0.1%
2006 185 960 0.9%
2011 120,519 0.5%
2016 229,281 0.8%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]