Mike Ellis (South African politician)

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Michael James Ellis
Mike Ellis DA MP.jpg
Deputy Chief Whip of the Opposition
In office
Leader Tony Leon and Helen Zille
Succeeded by Sandy Kalyan
Member of Parliament
for Indian Ocean South, KwaZulu-Natal
In office
Personal details
Born Pietermaritzburg
Nationality South African
Political party Democratic Alliance
Profession Educator

Michael James "Mike" Ellis (born 29 September 1946) was a South African politician and former educator, who served as Deputy Chief Whip of the opposition Democratic Alliance in 1999-2011, and as the party's provincial leader in KwaZulu-Natal between 2006 and 2009.[1] Ellis is one of the party's longest serving Parliamentarians, having first entered parliament as a candidate of the pro-Democracy Progressive Federal Party in 1987.[1] Prior to that he was President of the Natal Teachers' Society, and served as headmaster and deputy headmaster at several KwaZulu-Natal schools.[1]


Ellis was born in Pietermaritzburg, and attended Northlands Boys High School and the University of Natal.[1] He graduated with a BA in History and Political Science, and also obtained a University Education Diploma. He later also obtained a B.Ed degree. Upon graduating, Ellis worked as a teacher at Beachwood High School, which later became Northwood School.[2] In 1976 he took up a post as deputy headmaster at Penzance Primary School, and after spending two years as deputy headmaster at Kingsway High School, returned to Penzance to become the school's headmaster.[2] In 1984 he returned to another of his former schools, Beachwood, as head teacher. He was also appointed President of the Natal Teachers' Society.[1]


In 1987 Ellis left teaching to enter a career in politics. He won a seat in the House of Assembly in the Durban North constituency, under the banner of the Progressive Federal Party, and then won the seat again in 1989 under the party's new name, the Democratic Party.[1] Ellis was reelected to Parliament in 1994, in the country's first democratic election. In 1995 he became a party whip in the National Assembly, and he was appointed Deputy Chief Whip in 1999 - a position he held for more than a decade.[1]

During his tenure in Parliament, Ellis served on numerous portfolio committees, including Health, Education and Environmental Affairs and Tourism.[1][2]

Ellis retired from Parliament in 2011, and was given a warm farewell by parliament, from opposition and government MPs alike.[3]


Mike's eldest son, John Ellis, is a well-known South African singer-songwriter and guitarist.[4] His debut solo album, Come Out Fighting, released in June 2010, has a strong political message. It was dubbed 'Protest Songs' by the local press.[5] Songs such as 'A Luta Continua', 'Government Song', 'Rebels' and 'Rant' speak about being a white South African post-Apartheid.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Our people - DA - Mike Ellis". 
  2. ^ a b c "Mr Michael "Mike" ELLIS". 
  3. ^ "Mike Ellis drove Speakers to distraction - IOL". Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "John Ellis". Retrieved 15 January 2017. 
  5. ^ "The Citizen - More News Your Way". Retrieved 15 January 2017. 

Offices held[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
South African Deputy Chief Whip of the Opposition
1999 – 2011
Succeeded by
Sandy Kalyan