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'He's a political machine' — Phumzile Van Damme says Trollip joining a major victory for ActionSA

Former DA MP Phumzile Van Damme has weighed in on ActionSA's latest recruit. File photo.
Former DA MP Phumzile Van Damme has weighed in on ActionSA's latest recruit. File photo.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

Former DA MP Phumzile Van Damme says Athol Trollip joining ActionSA is a “major victory” for the party. 

The former DA federal chairperson was announced as Herman Mashaba's newest recruit on Wednesday. He will be the party’s Eastern Cape leader.

Trollip joins ActionSA two-and-a-half years after leaving the DA.

He is the second high-profile former DA member to join ActionSA this year.

Last month former DA Midvaal mayor Bongani Baloyi was unveiled as a member of ActionSA's senate. He has been tipped as the party's Gauteng premier candidate in 2024.

Taking to Twitter, Van Damme, who left the DA last year, described Trollip as “a political machine”. 

“Now this I did not expect at all. This is a major victory for ActionSA. Athol is a political machine.

“If ActionSA keeps collecting this deck of cards of political heavyweights, 2024 is in play,” she said. 

Van Damme said ActionSA has been able to do what the DA tried and then stopped — appealing to voters of all races.

She said the “cult-like groupthink” idea of political allegiance will be the death of SA. 

“Who cares if you leave to join another political party whether by membership or vote? This is a democracy. You can choose exactly as you please. Stop pestering people for leaving your parties.

“Political maturity is needed. It isn’t strong in some parts.”

Van Damme gave Helen Zille props for her “maturity”, after the DA leader said it was Trollip's choice on who to align himself with.

“Much better. Instead of trying to destroy people, forcing them to retaliate to protect themselves. This here. Maturity. Let’s hope it will stay this way,” she said

Van Damme also slammed a social media user claiming that Trollip was “flip-flopping” for leaving the DA. 

“The beauty of democracy is that you can choose. You can change your mind any time you please. You're not tied to any political party for life. This is why the ANC remains in power. People who think leaving is 'flip-flopping'. This mentality is destroying SA,” she said. 

“If you constantly campaign on the premise of convincing people to leave who they vote for and leave their parties, you should understand that that also applies to people within. Must you stick around even when you no longer agree and essentially lie to voters? That is treachery.”

Van Damme, however, made it clear she was not going to follow suit and join ActionSA.  

“I personally wouldn’t vote ActionSA as it stands because of my own convictions. I will respect the choice of those who join. It’s not about me. It’s none of my business what they choose to do with their lives. Live and let live,” she said. 


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