DA, ActionSA and other parties mourn death of DA leader James Selfe

The DA's James Selfe

The DA's James Selfe

Published May 22, 2024


Various political parties continue to send their messages of support and heartfelt condolences to the family of DA leader, James Selfe.

Media reports have suggested that Selfe died following a long battle with an unidentified illness on Tuesday.

The party he worked for for most of his recent political life has celebrated Selfe, who is survived by his family, friends, said its thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Sheila, and three daughters, Chloe, Stephanie, and Emma during this very difficult time.

The DA leader, John Steenhuisen in an emotional statement on Tuesday thanked him for having contributed to the success of the party and for fine-tuning the party’s systems and processes.

“However, it is James’ work for his political home, the Democratic Party (DP) and later the Democratic Alliance (DA), which solidified his legacy as a true democratic stalwart. Through his service to three Federal Leaders as the party’s first Chairperson of the Federal Council, James operationalised the establishment and fortification of the DA as South Africa’s formidable official opposition.

“James Selfe helped fine-tune the party’s systems and processes, tightening its Federal Constitution and turning the fast-growing DA into a modern, internationally-renowned African liberal party of rules and fairness,” the party said.

Herman Mashaba leader of ActionSA and former member of the DA thanked Selfe for his selfless contribution to the country’s democracy.

“ActionSA wishes to extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of James Selfe, a Member of Parliament whose career has spanned three decades and features a commendable track record of genuine dedication to strengthening our democracy and constitutional order.

“Having been elected to Parliament in 1994, James Selfe participated in the Constitutional Assembly, contributing to the drafting of South Africa’s Democratic Constitution. His contribution, dedication, and service to South Africa will always be remembered,“ Mashaba said.

Rise Mzansi in a statement through its spokesperson, Mabine Seabi, also mourned, saying it noted with sadness, Selfe’s passing.

“Selfe served our country with dedication, as part of the Constitutional Assembly that crafted the Constitution, and as a Member of Parliament. He exemplified how leaders and public representatives in an open democracy should behave – caring, respectful, diligent and deeply committed to the Constitution. He was also willing to work across the party divide in the interest of South Africa and its people,” he said.

The IFP described him as an honourable public servant who spent most of his life serving the people of South Africa.

“The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) is deeply saddened to have learnt of the passing of former Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Council Chairperson and Member of Parliament, Hon. James Selfe.On behalf of the Party, I extend the IFP’s sincere condolences to the Selfe family, his friends, colleagues, and all members of the DA. Hon. Selfe was a dedicated public servant, having spent most of his life serving the people of South Africa with distinction,“ the party said.

Build One South Africa (BOSA) Leader, Mmusi Maimane, also paid tribute to Selfe. “He was a great friend, a trusted advisor, and a true statesman, who I was privileged to serve alongside for many years in the Democratic Alliance (DA)” said Maimane.

“James and I weren’t just colleagues. He allowed me to become close with his own family, having the privilege of officiating his daughter Emma’s wedding.

“I wish to send my condolences to James’s wife, Sheila, his two daughters, Emma and Chloe, and his extended family, loved ones, as well as his DA family.”

The Star