DA Shadow Minister for Communications Phumzile van Damme endured a traumatic day at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront on Tuesday. She took to her Twitter account to report an incident of racism at the Cape Town attraction, which resulted in the politician dishing out her own form retribution.
The Phumzile van Damme V&A incident explained
Van Damme explained that a white family was recording her. When she tried to take photos, one family member threatened her with violence and reportedly said: “Voetsek, you black” – that’s when PVD says she shoved the “little sh*t” and punched him in the head.
Phumzile van Damme also accused V&A Management of letting the family go after she reported the incident. As well as the confrontation, the DA representative was also left furious with the way the Waterfront handled her subsequent complaints, accusing a manager of treating her “like rubbish”.
AND, @VandAWaterfront the right way to deal with this would’ve been to take my details & the family’s details & apologized to me for what I’d experienced. Your “Manager” did neither. He treated me like the rubbish & told me to go, so I said “fine, I’ll have to expose you”
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) June 18, 2019
V&A Waterfront say sorry
Late on Tuesday evening, the V&A Waterfront issued an official apology through their social media channels.
“The Management of the V&A Waterfront unreservedly apologises to Phumzile van Damme for the treatment she received in an interaction with our security manager, who intervened during an unpleasant altercation she had with a family of visitors on our property earlier today.”
“We regret this incident, which we did not handle with the necessary objectivity, respect and empathy. We do not tolerate any treatment that would diminish the standing of any member of our community.”
Van Damme has welcomed the apology, but she still has unfinished business with the alleged racists: She will now be opening a criminal case against the family and hopes to obtain CCTV footage which will vindicate her story.
Phumzile van Damme incident “used for political point-scoring”
Meanwhile, the reaction on social media has been eye-opening. Phumzile Tweeted last week that she “does not respond to violence when provoked”, in reaction to the EFF’s latest Parliamentary punch-up. Sadly, some people were more excited about questioning her morality than they were saddened by a supposed incident of racism.
Her status as a black woman in the DA has also been used for cheap political point scoring: Some Twitter users were suggesting that PVD “got a taste of her own medicine” on Tuesday.
Fighter Phumzile van Damme had to unleash inner "characteristics of the EFF" punching a racist in the face,how anarchist & violent of her. Anyway it's always beautiful when 702 blacks are at the receiving end of racism that way they can taste their own medicine
— Khutšo ® 🇿🇦 (@khutso) June 18, 2019
In an utterly futile bid to take the moral high ground, the status of black South Africans has been used as a pawn to push some pretty underhanded agendas. The sooner this ugly incident gets a resolution, the better.