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By Nicholas Zaal

Digital Journalist


‘A true patriot’ and ‘stalwart in our democracy’ – tributes pour in for former DA MP James Selfe

Allies and former allies alike speak highly of the former Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe, who died on Tuesday afternoon.


Tributes are pouring in for former Democratic Alliance (DA) member of Parliament James Selfe.

The party revealed Selfe died on Tuesday afternoon, surrounded by family and loved ones. It comes after a lengthy battle with illness.

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DA stood on shoulders like his

“This is a sad day for the Democratic Alliance, but also for South Africa,” party leader John Steenhuisen said in a video on the party’s X account.

“James Selfe was a stalwart in our democracy, and the DA today stands on the shoulders of giants like Selfe, who dedicated his entire life to fighting for freedom, justice, and democracy in South Africa.”

Words from allies and former allies

Former DA councillor and mayor of Johannesburg, now the leader of opposition party ActionSA, Herman Mashaba, said he was deeply saddened by the passing of the “true patriot”.

“It was a privilege to work alongside James, a man for whom I had the utmost respect and admiration. I will always remember his genuine desire to build a better South Africa,” Mashaba said.

“He was a true patriot and a dedicated public servant who served his country with distinction. May he rest in peace.”

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The Western Cape premier Alan Winde hailed Selfe’s “unwavering commitment to liberal democracy and justice,” which leaves an indelible mark on our nation.

“Rest in peace, democrat. Your tireless commitment to our country and her future will never be forgotten,” Winde said.

Chief Whip of the DA in Parliament, Siviwe Gwarube said she was “absolutely devastated” by the news.

“A dear friend. A great mentor. A wealth of knowledge and incredible stories,” she tweeted.

“A constitutionalist. A man who loved his family, his dogs and a good glass of wine. Kufa ndini! You have robbed us. You have robbed Sheila and the girls. Argh man. This is a tough tough one. I will miss you, Sir. Go well, Old Sport.”

Mayor of the uMngeni Municipality, Chris Pappas said Selfe had a “big impact on our constitutional democracy” and South Africa owes him a huge debt.

This is a developing story. More to follow.

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