DA stalwart Dene Smuts dies

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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.

 

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.”