Former DA chief whip Watson dies

2014-10-12 19:07
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Democratic Alliance stalwart and former chief whip Watty Watson died in the early hours of Sunday, the party said.

"Watty cared deeply about South Africa and worked tirelessly to bring justice and progress to the people of his beloved province Mpumalanga and South Africa," DA federal chair Wilmot James said in a statement.

"His deep commitment to improving the lives of his fellow men and women was always his driving motivation."

Watson retired this year after the May general elections.

He was the leader of the DA in the National Council of Provinces until he was selected to be the party's chief whip in the National Assembly.

Watson leaves behind his wife Madeleine, his children and grandchildren.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this dreadfully sad time as they mourn the passing of the mainstay of their family," James said.

"Watty was a mensch and we will miss him greatly."

The office of the African National Congress's chief whip expressed sadness at Watson's death.

"Watson contributed immensely to our country's robust public political discourse, notably through his leadership role in the DA and as one of the longest serving and experienced parliamentarians," ANC chief whip Stone Sizani said in a statement.

"We differed on many occasions with him, particularly during his role as DA's National Assembly chief whip, but we appreciated the forthrightness, frankness and passion with which he raised his party's views."

The party sent its condolences to Watson's family, friends and his colleagues in the DA.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  politics

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