Bring out the popcorn! It's a twar between Helen Zille and Phumzile van Damme
Former DA leader Helen Zille and DA shadow minister of communications Phumzile van Damme became involved in a war of words on social media network Twitter on Sunday.
It all seems to have started when Twitter user @Alettaha claimed that Van Damme was the instigator in the alleged racist incident at the V&A Waterfront where she said she punched a man who had been racist towards her. This man's identity has not been made public and his whereabouts are unknown.
So it turns out my suspicions that #PvD was the aggressor + architect of the #PhantomRacism incident in the #VAndAWaterfront. Eye witness reports place her as the instigator. Now can the Family please come forward + charge her with aggravated assault? I will not pay her salary.— ALETTAHA☺♥☀ (@ALETTAHA) June 21, 2019
The former DA leader responded to the tweet above, saying it was hard to work out where the truth lay. Zille said the family involved were probably too scared to come forward.
I wish the family would come forward and give us their perspective. But I suppose that are scared of potential consequences. It is hard, in these circumstances, to work out where the truth lies.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) June 22, 2019
Van Damme responded directly to Zille, saying she would not "kowtow to anyone who seeks to invalidate my experience".
What potential consequences would that be, Helen? Confirming their racism? I told them in the video they recorded that they must please make it public to show their racism. You’ve clearly made your mind up, so? I will not kowtow to anyone who seeks to invalidate my experience— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) June 23, 2019
Anyone with an iota of intelligence would watch Petzer’s video & laugh. You invalidate MY experience. I was made to feel subhuman. I was threatened. In addition to that I must be dragged through the mud & you gladly join the mob with your 1m followers? I don’t kowtow to bullies.— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) June 23, 2019
But Zille insisted she did not attack Van Damme, calling her "Phumz" in her response.
I didn't attack you Phumz. Last time I looked, audi alterem partem was a core DA value. We must apply it in all cases including those that involve us.— Helen Zille (@helenzille) June 23, 2019
South Africans responded, many applauding Van Damme for taking a stand against Zille.