Mr M Maimane

Federal leader: Democratic Alliance Parliament

Plein Street

Cape Town

By email:


Ms L Watson

79 Hans van Rensburg


By email:


17 March 2017,


Dear Mr Maimane and Ms Watson


The DA’s use of Michael Komape’s name


1. On Saturday 25 February we received a telephone call from our client, Mr James Komape, the father of the late Michael Komape. Mr Komape expressed his and his family’s distress at the use of his son’s name by the Democratic Alliance during a protest at the Limpopo State of the Province Address on 24 February 2017.

2. Mr Komape noted particularly a DA member directly in front of the legislature displaying a large placard around his neck with the words “Justice for Michael Komape”, and we understand that more members of the DA and DA supporters were carrying similar placards in the public gallery.

3. As you know, Mr and Mrs Komape lost their son Michael in unspeakably traumatic circumstances in January 2014. Since then, the family has been subjected to retraumatisation each time they are exposed to images or references to him where they do not expect it.

4. While this cannot be altogether avoided, it is amplified when his name is used by politicians in very public campaigns. The family considers it to be particularly disrespectful given that no concern has been shown by the DA towards the Komape family in the three years since Michael’s death, and no permission was sought by the DA to use their son’s name and death in their campaign.

5. Mr Komape has therefore requested that we, as his family’s attorneys, write to you to request, first, an apology from the DA to the Komape family; and second, that any further use of Michael Komape’s name is not permitted unless preceded by discussions with the family through us as the family’s legal representatives.

Yours sincerely,


Kate Paterson




Komape letter to the DA 2017.03.17