CAPE TOWN: Ms Phumzile van Damme has resigned as a Democratic Alliance (DA) MP and is leaving the party.
Democratic Alliance (DA)’s lawmaker, and former shadow Minister of Communications, Ms Phumzile van Damme, has quit South Africa’s biggest opposition party.
She is yet another prominent black leader to leave the DA following protracted battles. Van Damme was placed on a sabbatical leave last year by the leader of the party, Mr John Steenhuisen.
A few weeks ago, she tweeted that she continued to experience harassment from some within the party over a racism incident tha she experienced at the V&A Waterfront in 2019.
The DA has continued to shed black leaders over recent years over internal conflicts, which have also reflected on the party’s performance at the polls, even in this week’s by-elections.
After dropping several hints on Twitter on Thursday afternoon it was confirmed that Ms Van Damme was no longer a member of the DA nor its representative in Parliament. She joined the DA in 2009, was elected to Parliament in 2014.
She served the party in numerous roles, including as shadow Minister of Communications and as a spokesperson.
Ms Van Damme, in a statement issued on her behalf on Thursday, said that she would not be seeking to join any political party.
“To be clear, I will not be joining another political party, nor will I be using my time to launch attacks on the DA. I leave on my own terms, having made my own decision,” she said.
“Nonetheless, in a climate of rumours and the need to create heroes and villains, my resignation as an MP is not because the DA is a so-called “racist party” but because of a clique of individuals – and in order not to make the good women and men still in the DA suffer, I will not delve further into this.
“Again, I leave with a sore heart and wish to thank members of the public who have stood with me during my time as an MP. As politicians, we often forget that we are servants of the people first and foremost, and our work as public representatives is because of them and for them,” she added.