Mixed reactions as Lourie Bosman joins DA

The DA’s announcement that previous Agri SA president Lourie Bosman has been earmarked to take over from agriculture spokesperson Dr Kraai van Niekerk has been met with mixed reaction.

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The DA’s announcement that previous Agri SA president Lourie Bosman has been earmarked to take over from agriculture spokesperson Dr Kraai van Niekerk has been met with mixed reaction. There has been concern that his entry into politics might compromise Agri SA’s apolitical position and status as a civil society body. Bosman heads the DA’s Mpumalanga list for the National Assembly.
Agri SA president Johannes Möller reiterated the organisation’s apolitical stance, saying its only objective is to work for the betterment of agriculture in South Africa.
“Bosman has no direct links to Agri SA anymore and the fact that he decided to enter party politics has nothing to do with Agri SA,” he said. “We wish him luck and hope he’ll use his vast experience in agriculture to the benefit of the industry. But I want to emphasise that Agri SA is adamant about standing outside politics.”
TAU president Ben Marias was sceptical. “I foresee a difficult time for Lourie and can’t imagine how he will change his position from being a pawn of the current government to its actual opposition,” he said. “Bosman was mostly in agreement with the ruling party, as is evident in his standpoint on BEE and restitution, amongst others. He co-signed the government’s Sector Plan for Agriculture and it will be fascinating to see how he is going to oppose the very people he was in agreement with. He was part and parcel of a host of decisions made by the government on agriculture.”
Dr Kraai van Niekerk, on the other hand, believes Bosman is the right man for the job. “I’m very glad he decided to enter politics. He is an experienced agriculturist with an excellent grasp of the challenges and opportunities facing the industry.
“Agriculture is demanding and complex, and Bosman has proven himself to be up to the task. We need analytical minds like his who act with caution and reason. He has a grasp of the complexities of agriculture and his decision bodes well for South Africa.” – Annelie Coleman

Annelie Coleman represents Farmer’s Weekly in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape. Agriculture is in her blood. She grew up on a maize farm in the Wesselsbron district where her brother is still continuing with the family business. Annelie is passionate about the area she works in and calls it ‘God’s own country’. She’s particularly interested in beef cattle farming, especially with the indigenous African breeds. She’s an avid reader and owns a comprehensive collection of Africana covering hunting in colonial Africa, missionary history of same period, as well as Rhodesian literature.