Tributes pour following passing of former DA federal chairperson, James Selfe

Former DA federal chairperson James Selfe has died. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/Independent Newspapers

Former DA federal chairperson James Selfe has died. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/Independent Newspapers

Published May 21, 2024


Tributes are pouring in for former Democratic Alliance federal chairperson, James Selfe, following his death on Tuesday afternoon. He was 68 years old.

The party announced that Selfe died surrounded by family and loved ones after a lengthy battle with an illness.

"James Selfe is one of the unsung heroes of South African democracy, having dedicated his life to the liberation of the South African people, and the betterment of our country as a newly-realised democracy. His legacy will live on in the corridors of parliament, and in the memories made with family, friends, and colleagues alike. Fare thee well, James," said DA leader, John Steenhuisen.

He added that Selfe will be missed for his wry, sharp wit, his deep love for his family and his miniature schnauzers, and his proud annual proclamation of ‘Dezemba’ at the end of every parliamentary year.

“For as serious as a politician he could be, James was also a dear and cherished friend who savoured the sweetness of life in a career that can often be exhaustively personally taxing. The Democratic Alliance is indebted to James not only for his contribution to our party, but the many wonderful connections he made with the people who belong to it,” Steenhuisen added.

Action SA leader, Herman Mashaba, said Selfe, whose career spanned three decades and features a commendable track record of genuine dedication to strengthening the country’s democracy and constitutional order, will be dearly missed.

"ActionSA honours his memory, which we believe serves as an inspiration for the vital role that Parliament plays in holding the Executive to account, a principle that James Selfe understood, respected, and ensured guided his work,“ Mashaba said.

The DA’s Siviwe Gwarube also took to social media to express her condolences.

— Tony Leon (@TonyLeonSA) May 21, 2024

Selfe retired from politics in 2021 after an illustrious career spanning over four decades.

He is survived by his wife, Sheila, and three daughters, Chloe, Stephanie and Emma during this very difficult time.

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