Pieter Mulder announced on Saturday that he would be stepping down as the leader of the Freedom Front Plus party.
He shared the news at the party’s reorganisation congress in Kempton Park.
“Dr Mulder said he does not intend to participate in the 2019 election, and for that reason it is only fair to give a new leader the opportunity to establish himself or herself up to the election in 2019,” the party said in a statement.
Mulder became the party’s leader 15 years ago, after being elected unopposed in 2001 with the departure of general Constand Viljoen.
He indicated he was willing to stay on for a transitional period as a FF Plus MP.
He had been in Parliament this year for an uninterrupted 28 years, making him the MP with the longest continuous service period.
“According to Dr Mulder the party is well established, without debt and with branches and structures in all provinces. The FF Plus also doubled its support in the 2016 local elections with councillors in all nine provinces.”
Before entering politics, Mulder was a professor of communication and head of department at the Potchefstroom University.
Between 2009 and 2014, he was deputy minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
He liked to play squash and read in his spare time.
His other interests were astronomy and history.
Mulder and his wife Triena Roestorf have five children. — News24