FILE: Democratic Alliance logo. The party says it wants the man behind a racial attack on a pizza delivery man in Port Elizabeth to be criminally charged.
PARLIAMENT – Former DA MP Dene Smuts has died, the party said on Friday.
“The Democratic Alliance has received with sadness the news of the sudden passing of Dene Smuts,” James Selfe, the chairman of the party’s federal executive said.
Smuts, 67, is believed to have suffered a heart attack.
A former magazine editor, she entered politics in 1989 and served as a member of Parliament until 2014.
Smuts was involved in the writing of the Bill of Rights and served as justice spokesperson for the DA before she retired before the previous national elections.
Colleagues paid fond tribute to her on Friday.
DA mourns the passing of Dene Smuts, a great parliamentarian and defender of the Constitution - @JAMESSELFE3 https://t.co/K3wroHSjwq— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) April 22, 2016
Dene Smuts gone far too soon. Extraordinary colleague and woman of achievement and unflinching principle . RIP— Tony Leon (@TonyLeonSA) April 22, 2016
A beautiful 2014 tribute to Dene Smuts by @TonyLeonSA - https://t.co/XQ3d2QpGnO via @bdliveSA @gareth_morgan— Lindiwe Mazibuko (@LindiMazibuko) April 22, 2016
So shocked and saddened to hear about passing of Dene Smuts. An extraordinary woman and a brilliant legislator. May she rest in peace.— Lindiwe Mazibuko (@LindiMazibuko) April 22, 2016
Dene Smuts taught me everything I know about what she loved to call the "mathematics of legislating" in @ParliamentofRSA! RIPDeneSmuts— David Maynier MP (@DavidMaynier) April 22, 2016
Selfe spoke of Smuts’s commitment and high standards.
“Dene Smuts will be remembered as a truly great parliamentarian, who stood unswervingly for a cause far bigger than her own personal advancement – an enduring set of principles and beliefs,” he said.
“Whether it was in her work on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission legislation, on a modern communications policy, on working for the independence of the legal profession or in her heroic work on the Protection of State Information Bill, Dene always worked incredibly hard and with total devotion to the Constitution and the principles it enshrines.”