DA MP Phumzile van Damme punches man in Waterfront 'race row'

18 June 2019 - 14:38 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
DA MP Phumzile van Damme said she was forced to punch a man "in self-defence" after his family member filmed her.
DA MP Phumzile van Damme said she was forced to punch a man "in self-defence" after his family member filmed her.
Image: Gallo Images

DA MP Phumzile van Damme punched a young man at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town in an alleged racial incident on Tuesday.

Van Damme took to Twitter to vent her frustration over what she perceived to be a mishandling of the situation by the Waterfront's managers.

She said she was forced to punch a man "in self-defence" after his family member "was filming me the entire time".

Van Damme tweeted: "Management of V&A Waterfront if you're going to allow racism and racists on your premises, please announce it to all. I will not stand for anyone's racism towards me or anyone. And don't send me some PR clichéd response either, ACTION."

"The family. This lady was filming me the entire time, so I tried to take photos & that little sh*t in the black T-shirt came to my face and came within my face and said 'voetsek' ... 'you're black' & threw [my phone] on the ground. He was threatening violence so in self-defence I punched him in the head."

Van Damme further challenged the Waterfront's managers to ban the family,  saying this would test how serious the establishment was about tackling racism on its premises.

Called by TimesLIVE for comment, a livid Van Damme said: "Not right now, not right now, I am still very angry." 

Waterfront spokesperson Donald Kau said: "We will be talking to Phumzile personally to get her account of the incident as well as the security manager who was present.

"We cannot pre-empt what action will be taken yet...

"We welcome people from all over the world, of a diverse range of cultures. Racists are simply not welcome. We must not have these incidents happen at all." - additional reporting by Dan Meyer

* This article has been amended since it was first published with updated comment from the Waterfront.

An audibly shaken Van Damme recorded her exchange with a Waterfront manager, who can be heard saying that he was "trying to be reasonable".


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