Phumzile van Damme & that 'self-defence' punch: what you need to know

19 June 2019 - 18:25 By Cebelihle Bhengu
DA MP Phumzile van Damme said she was forced to punch a man 'in self-defence' in an alleged race row at the V&A Waterfront.
DA MP Phumzile van Damme said she was forced to punch a man 'in self-defence' in an alleged race row at the V&A Waterfront.
Image: Gallo Images

DA shadow minister of communications Phumzile van Damme is at the centre of Twitter conversations following an alleged racism altercation at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town on Tuesday.

Here's what you need to know:

Van Damme breaks the news on Twitter

Van Damme on Tuesday took to Twitter to vent about the inaction of the V&A Waterfront management regarding the alleged racist encounter she had with a young white man after she claims he said 'Voet##k you black" to her during an altercation between her and the man's family.

Van Damme also admitted to punching the man in the head, saying she did this in "self-defence."

The video she shared on Twitter shows a conversation between her and the centre manager, who can be heard saying he is "trying to be reasonable" after van Damme asks him why he let the man go.  

V&A apology

On Tuesday afternoon, the centre issued an apology via its Twitter account in which it  admitted to having mishandled the incident.

"We are a neighbourhood of the City of Cape Town and are committed to giving all our visitors a pleasant experience and to treat them with respect," read part of the statement. 

Van Damme accepted the apology but said she would be opening a case with the police which would allow her access to the CCTV footage she had earlier requested in her personal capacity. 

Public reaction

The alleged racist incident has since provoked emotions of anger and sparked conversations on racism and inequality as scores of people continue to weigh in on the matter, calling for unity among South Africans.

Some have even called for a response from DA leader Mmusi Maimane. 


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