'There's possibly a major storm coming': Phumzile van Damme on 'stressed' Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

DA MP Phumzile van Damme said communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams' body language during a press briefing suggested the politician was 'scared and stressed'.
DA MP Phumzile van Damme said communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams' body language during a press briefing suggested the politician was 'scared and stressed'.
Image: SUPPLIED

While most of the country was glued to their screens watching communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams' media briefing, DA MP Phumzile van Damme was not buying any of it.

On Tuesday, Ndabeni-Abrahams held a media briefing in Pretoria, a day after messages went viral on social media about the possibility of her nudes being leaked.

The communication ministry announced on Monday that Ndabeni-Abrahams' WhatsApp account was hacked, and that her private and confidential information was said to be in the hands of an unknown third party.

During her briefing, Ndabeni-Abrahams said hackers would only find “naughty” Whatsapp messages between herself and her husband.

She denied there were any nude photos stored on her WhatsApp or anything “illegal”.

“Surely you will find naughty messages between myself and my husband in those WhatsApp messages because we do communicate,” said Ndabeni-Abrahams.

“I doubt there is anything illegal, unless you interpret me flirting with my husband as an illegal issue.”

The minister said she was no longer surprised by the constant attacks on her.

“I am a politician, an activist and a public figure, so therefore there may be conflict in how I do my work - but of course I wouldn’t be shocked.

“I am Stella Ndabeni at the end of the day. I’ve always been challenged and attacked. It’s just exciting now because it’s in the media. To me, the attacks are nothing new. It's something I am used to as a politician.”

'Someone scared and stressed'

On social media, Van Damme criticised the briefing, saying it was a tactic often used to “build the narrative that an incumbent is competent”.

“This press conference to announce nothing really is a tactic often used in crisis [communication] to build the narrative that an incumbent is competent. Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has faced a slew of corruption allegations, and there is possibly a major storm coming,” said Van Damme.

She suggested Ndabeni-Abrahams was “stressed” based on her body language.

“I’ve seen Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams speak many times. She smiles throughout. Displays full confidence. This here is someone scared and stressed,” she said.

Van Damme also expressed frustration at how Ndabeni-Abrahams responded to questions on how she felt about the corruption allegations against her.

TimesLIVE


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