Phumzile Van Damme hits back at EFF’s Godrich Gardee for calling her an ‘experiment of whiteness’

The DA's Phumzile Van Damme hit back at former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee after he insulted her in a post on Twitter. File photo.
The DA's Phumzile Van Damme hit back at former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee after he insulted her in a post on Twitter. File photo.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

DA MP Phumzile Van Damme has clapped back at former EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee for calling her an “experiment of whiteness”. 

Gardee’s claim comes after former DA leader Tony Leon called Mmusi Maimane an “experiment that went wrong”. 

Leon caused a stir over the weekend after an interview with News24 in which he spoke about his new bookFuture Tense

In the interview, Leon was quoted as saying Maimane was “an experiment that went wrong” when he was elected as leader of the DA in 2015 before throwing in the towel in 2019.

Gardee said Leon’s claims came as no surprise because the DA had experimented with the National Freedom Party before.

“Mbali Thuli, Phumzile Van Damme, Palesa Morudu, and many other African sisters and brothers, know you are experiments of whiteness,” said Gardee.

Van Damme clapped back, saying Gardee “experimented” with “trying her” when they were co-MCs at a Zuma Must Fall rally in parliament.

In a series of tweets, Van Damme claimed Gardee treated her like an “infant” and said respecting women “wasn’t much of a thing”.

She also clapped back at Twitter trolls for saying Maimane was an “experiment” and she was an “exception”.

Maimane slammed Leon for his “experiment” comment and called him out for disrespecting him.

Wa itlhagisa, ebile wa tella (you exposed yourself and are even disrespectful). Entlek ungijwayela kabi (actually, you’ve disrespected me badly),” Maimane told Leon.

Maimane said Leon took a shot at him because he wanted the DA to celebrate the life of the late ANC stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela when she died in 2018 and to expand the party base beyond its “traditional voters”. 

“That was the right thing to do and I stand by those decisions.

“Imagine being the second largest party and saying nothing when an icon like Winnie Madikizela-Mandela passes on. That would reflect a lack of ubuntu and a lack of sensitivity to the moment. I was not going to do that. Celebrating her life was the right thing to do.” 


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