The DA is not Pleasantville - we argue sometimes, says Phumzile Van Damme
While the dust settles following the DA's elective congress over the weekend, MP Phumzile Van Damme has opened up about the relationship among members of the party, saying it is not “the town of Pleasantville” and there is often robust debate.
She's also said she is committed to working with newly elected party leader John Steenhuisen, despite not backing him in his campaign to be DA leader. She was engaging her Twitter followers on Monday after her preferred candidate, KwaZulu-Natal MPL Mbali Ntuli, lost the contest for leadership.
“We argue. We disagree. We shout at each other sometimes when things get heated. It would be weird if we didn't argue, wouldn't it? This is not the town of Pleasantville. We're not robots. So don't see disagreement as the end of the DA. It is a sign of health,” she tweeted.
On Saturday, Van Damme penned a heartfelt letter to Ntuli, saying she felt proud to vote for her to take over as party leader. She said she “cried” when she read her first campaign letter and she resonated with Ntuli's values of kindness and fairness in the party.
Asked how she feels about backing Steenhuisen, “who has values far removed from your own”, Van Damme said she will work towards pursuing the common values between her and the current leadership.
“We don't have to agree on everything. There isn't a group of people who agree on everything. If the core values are the same, that is it. I remain committed to a cause not only for the DA, but importantly SA. As always, I'll go out there and do my best.”
One Twitter user suggested she will either be targeted or the party will “beat her into submission" because she “rocks the boat too much”, but she assured them that her and the DA's focus is on winning the next elections.
I know for many of you it comes from a place of genuine concern, but please worry not. No one is “coming for us,” we have an election to focus on. Internal warfare is something JS said he is putting an end to. Trust that and leave it at that! My focus too is on the election. https://t.co/pGtIajJyk5— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) November 2, 2020
And that is why there is no time for any internal fights & personality- agenda-driven shenanigans. Congress happened. The votes were counted. It's over. We have unity of purpose - growing the party, a necessity not just for the DA, but for SA. More of the same, it's over for us— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) November 2, 2020