'My love for the DA is not blind': Phumzile van Damme on her public critique of the party
Phumzile Van Damme does not subscribe to former US first lady Michelle Obama's “when they go low, we go high” motto, but instead, she says when people go low, she goes lower.
On Thursday, the DA MP took to Twitter to, yet again, declare that she has no immediate plans to leave the DA and that her critique of the party is not hatred.
Van Damme explained that her public disagreement with certain decisions taken by the party or some of its members was not an indication that she wanted to leave but that she cared.
“Where I see problems I will say, it has earned me both foes and fans alike. I care not of the opinions of foes, I am no sycophant and yes-man. It is because I still care that I speak,” said Van Damme.
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A note: do not take my critique of the party I belong to as hatred. My love for it is not blind. Where I see problems I will say, it has earned me both foes and fans alike. I care not of the opinions of foes, I am no sycophant & yes-man. It is because I still care that I speak.— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) September 17, 2020
She said most of the times she raised concerns with the party it was done internally, rather than in the public domain.
“When issues are brought to the public domain, where there are leaks designed to paint me in a negative light? Rest assured I will respond publicly. Always. Last year it was leak after leak & I kept quiet. This year, no more,” she said.
Touching on respect within the party, Van Damme said it has to be earned and suggested that when party members go low, she goes even lower.
“Respect is a two-way street. I’m a very simple person, back up off me and I’ll back up off you. Come for me and I come for you. I’m not saying I’m above reproach? No. Raise your concerns internally and I will extend you the same courtesy,” she said.
Van Damme also said she was not a victim in the DA. This after a social media user suggested that notable former party leaders like Lindiwe Mazibuko, Mmusi Maimane, Patricia de Lille, Herman Mashaba and John Moodley had the same strong stance on things they felt passionately about before their departures.
And I’m pretty sure that none of the people you mention consider themselves victims. Most are the hardest working, toughest, most talented, smartest people I know. They had their own reasons for leaving. Don’t cast them as arme skepsels. Put some respek on their names— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) September 17, 2020
In a separate tweet, she slammed a troll who said only white people in the DA could “speak out on issues and survive”.
Side-eye to a somebody who has been here for a hot two minutes and thinks he can tell us what the DA is about. Was’thola la kwedini. We worked our way up: blood, sweat & tears. No one gave us a leg up. We have nothing to prove. Especially to you. Our work speaks for itself.— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) September 17, 2020