Former DA Federal Chairperson James Selfe dies at 68

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Former Democratic Alliance (DA) Federal Chairperson, James Selfe has died at the age of 68 following a lengthy battle with illness.

Selfe served as the Chairperson of the party’s Federal Council for almost 20 years until his resignation in 2019.

He first served from 1979 as a researcher in the Progressive Federal Party which is the forerunner to the DA.

Selfe was elected to South Africa’s first democratic parliament in 1994 and served in the National Assembly until he retired in 2021.

He served as Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Affairs and was Chair of the DA’s Federal Council for almost 20 years until he resigned from it in 2019.

Meanwhile, DA leader John Steenhuisen confirmed the news, hailing Selfe as a pioneer for opposition politics.

“The Democratic Alliance mourns the passing of party’s stalwart James Selfe who passed away late this afternoon. In many ways, James was a pioneer in South African opposition politics because he was one of the first politicians in post-democratic history to begin the work of opposing the unfitted power of the ANC’s majority. And to turn South Africa into a living, breathing democracy, when the opposition took up its role as society’s ultimate watchdog,” says Steenhuisen.