We do need both pronouns in the sentence, indeed, but only when we start the sentence with the pronoun with "a". If we start with "le", it is optional. Take your sentence for example:
Le di el regalo a José. (correct)
Di el regalo a José. (correct)
A José le di el regalo. (correct)
A José di el regalo. (incorrect)
Even in the cases where it is correct to use just one pronoun, we tend to use both.
We have a lesson on "repetition of indirect object pronouns" coming up soon.
I hope this explanation helps.
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