He was born in Paarl. In 2009 James became a Member of Parliament with the Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s opposition party. He was appointed Shadow Minister of Higher Education, and later moved to the Basic Education portfolio. In 2010 he was elected federal chairperson of the party unopposed, a post he held for five years. He served as Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry for his party between 2012 and 2014 and also served as Shadow Minister of Health. In June 2017, Wilmot James left parliament for a professorship in the US focusing on global fight against infectious epidemics as an academic at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York
More about him …
Dr Wilmot James – Chairman of the Immigration Advisory Board of South Africa. He ended his period as an executive director, responsible for social cohesion and integration research, at the Human Sciences Research Council, in October 2004.
He is a Trustee of the Ford Foundation of New York, the Impumelelo Innovations Awards Programme and the US-SA Centre for Leadership and Public Values.
He is a non-executive director of Sanlam Limited, Sanlam Life, Media24 and Via Afrika Books.
Dr James holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author or editor of 12 books, the most recent being What Holds us Together: Social Cohesion in South Africa (with David Chidester & Philip Dexter eds.) and Nelson Mandela: From Freedom to the Future (with Kader Asmal & David Chidester eds.).
Dr James is formerly a Dean of Humanities of the University of Cape Town; Executive Director of the Institute for Democracy of South Africa (IDASA) and Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. He has held visiting positions at Yale University, Indiana University, American Bar Foundation and, as an Associate Editor, the Cape Argus. He most recently was Moore Visiting Professor of History and Sociology, California Institute of Technology.
Dr James was head of electoral information for the Western Cape during South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994; Chairman of the Green Paper Task Team on International Migration; Member of the White Paper Task Team on Immigration; Project leader of the Values in Education Initiative, Ministry of Education; and Member of the Task Team on Electoral Reform in South Africa, Department of Home Affairs.
Dr James is married to Delecia Forbes and has two daughters, Gabriele (13) and Isabella (2), and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
IDASA – GEORGE SOROS
Notice the “AB member” at the Bond meeting between other “familiar faces of parliament and so-called leaders” when Ramapadda addressed them on behalf of “Afrikaners”. One of the many elders was presented to the cameras as Hermann. Ironical, the club members make sure they have a (so-called) mandate to speak and make decisions on behalf of all Afrikaners, even conservatives. And they were only a men’s club for decades – a mandate is just impossible. And do not forget about the “Reddingsdaadbond” of 1939. Liberals, Slabbert and Boraine started Idasa.