Phumzile van Damme defends Floyd Shivambu from body-shamers

The DA's Phumzile van Damme is an unlikely defender of Floyd Shivambu. This week she took on social media users who were body-shaming the EFF deputy leader. File photo.
The DA's Phumzile van Damme is an unlikely defender of Floyd Shivambu. This week she took on social media users who were body-shaming the EFF deputy leader. File photo.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

DA MP Phumzile van Damme may not “like” EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu, but even she knows that body-shaming is not the way to go when criticising him.

On Thursday, Van Damme slammed social media users who body-shamed Shivambu this week.

Remarks were made about Shivambu's weight after his comments on the Senekal magistrate's court saga in the Free State.

Reflecting on comments she had seen, Van Damme said there was no need to body-shame Shivambu.

“You can critique Floyd Shivambu without mentioning his weight. It’s called human decency,” she said.

“You don’t have to like him, I don’t. But there’s no need, ever, to body-shame anyone. There could be many reasons why his body is the way it is and quite frankly, [it's] none of your business.”

Van Damme urged those who've body-shamed Shivambu not to do it again, saying there are plenty of ways to take him on without focussing on his body.

“We’re all here living and learning. If you’ve done this before, don’t do it again. Floyd is most intolerable, but there’s plenty ammo without using his body as a point of attack. Or with anyone else.

“It’s about being a little kind to all races, body shapes, and sizes.”

Van Damme also slammed a user who suggested that being fat was not a disability but a lifestyle - and that Shivambu did not need a “cheerleader” because he can defend himself.

“I’m a human being first [and] foremost. I am many other things before I am a politician,” said van Damme.

“Political affiliation or ideology is not how I choose to interact with the world or its people. I see you first and regardless of who you are [or what] you’ve done, basic human decency that applies to all.”

She said judgmental people don't need her validation to judge other people.

“I mean, if you want to live your life being shallow, judging people based on their looks, weight, race, height, and other obscure markers, go for it. You don’t need my validation.

“Or you could see past that and judge a person based on their actions. Whatever man, do you, your life.”

TimesLIVE


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X