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Dianne Kohler Barnard MP

Shadow Minister of Police
Assumed office 
Leader Tony Leon and Helen Zille

Shadow Minister of Health
In office
2005 – 2006
Leader Tony Leon

Shadow Minister of Arts and Culture
In office
2004 – 2005
Leader Tony Leon

Assumed office 
21 May 2004

Born 2 December 1955 (1955-12-02) (age 54)
Port Elizabeth
Nationality South African
Political party Democratic Alliance

Dianne Kohler Barnard (born 2 December 1955) is a South African politician and former journalist, currently South Africa's Shadow Minister of Police, and a Member of Parliament for the Democratic Alliance (DA). She was born in Port Elizabeth,[1] but currently resides in KwaZulu-Natal, where she represents the Umkhanyakude and uThungulu districts.[2]


Career in journalism

Kohler-Barnard spent 23 years working as a radio and print journalist. She ran the KwaZulu-Natal offices of SAfm and also presented and produced the station's afternoon news programme The Editors.

Kohler-Barnard is also the former chairperson of the Broadcast, Electronic Media and Allied Workers' Union in KwaZulu-Natal, and was a founder member of the inaugural SABC HIV/Aids Committee.[1]


Kohler-Barnard moved to politics in response to increasing state interference in the management of the SABC. She was elected to parliament with the Democratic Alliance in 2004, and was initially spokesperson on Arts and Culture.[3]

She was subsequently appointed opposition spokesperson on Health. During this time she became a vocal critic of incumbent health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, particularly over her support for controversial German vitamin salesman Matthias Rath. Rath sued Kohler-Barnard for describing him as a "charlatan", and also sued newspapers that carried the remark.[4]

Subsequently, Kohler-Barnard was appointed to the senior position of spokesperson for the party on safety and security. She was also the DA’s representative on the SADC observer mission to Zimbabwe for the last two elections in that country.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Dianne Kohler Barnard".  
  2. ^ "Contact - DA in Your Area: KwaZulu-Natal".  
  3. ^ "Ms Dianne Kohler Barnard".  
  4. ^ "Rath sues Cape Times over alleged 'offensive' remarks".  

Offices held

Political offices
Preceded by
Roy Jankielsohn
South African Shadow Minister of Police
Preceded by
Ryan Coetzee
South African Shadow Minister of Health
2005 – 2006
Succeeded by
Gareth Morgan
Preceded by
Sydney Opperman
South African Shadow Minister of Arts and Culture
2004 – 2005
Succeeded by
Desiree van der Walt


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