Phumzile van Damme prepared to fight DA charges

Phumzile van Damme says she was surprised to read about the charges laid against her by the DA in a Sunday newspaper.
Phumzile van Damme says she was surprised to read about the charges laid against her by the DA in a Sunday newspaper.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

The DA’s Phumzile van Damme was unaware of the charges against her by her party until she read a report in the Sunday Times.

“What a fascinating story in the ST today about the DA ‘purge’ wherein I, for the first time, find out the contents of the report I will be charged on. I’ve found almost all the details in the press. Not FedEx nor FLC [federal legal commission] has had the decency to inform me first. We are led,” she tweeted.

The Sunday Times reported that at least seven senior DA leaders, including Van Damme, face charges of bringing the party into disrepute. The majority of these leaders are black and were supporters of former leader Mmusi Maimane and not of interim leader John Steenhuisen.

The charges by the commission include Van Damme’s “unpleasant confrontation” with a family at the V&A Waterfront in June 2019.

She said a member of the family was filming her and, when she then took pictures of them, a young man slammed Van Damme’s phone to the floor and said “voetsek, you black”, in a threatening tone.

The DA, in its documents, said the aggressive and loud altercation could have been avoided as a higher degree of self-control was expected from public representatives.

Van Damme accused the party of using the same strategy on her that it had used to oust Maimane. She called it “leaks warfare”.

“I mean the same strategy was used to hound Mmusi out of the party ... What am I supposed to do in response to this? Turn the other cheek? Shrink? Leave? LMAO,” she wrote.

She said she would not accept an apology as her name had been “dragged through the mud”.

You want this to play out in public? Sure, no problem, send me an e-mail and we can tango

“You want this to play out in public? Sure, no problem, send me an e-mail and we can tango,” she wrote.

She also made it clear that she would not resign as that would be the “easy way out”. 

Glynnis Breytenbach, chair of the commission, declined to answer questions sent by TimesLIVE.

“The FLC does not comment on nor discuss disciplinary matters, which are internal party matters, in the media,” she said. — TimesLIVE



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