Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was confronted about DA MP Phumzile van Damme’s recent punching of a man at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, by Independent Online journalist Tshego Lepule, on the red carpet ahead of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s June 20 state of the nation address (Sona).
Van Damme alleged that she acted in self-defence following a racial incident. According to the DA MP, a man swore at her and “was threatening violence”. She also alleges that he said “voetsek you black” to her and threw her cellphone on the ground after she took pictures of him and his family, following another another member of the family taking a video of her without permission.
“Our job must always be to build reconciliation, violence always begets violence,” Maimane said.
“I always regret incidents of racism and condemn racism, but the best way to respond is to seek to reconcile,” he continued.
“We’ve lost that project as a country, we’ve lost that ability to be able to speak to one another and to hear one another, so that we can ensure that we can not only educate each other about how we feel about acts of racism, but [on how to] build a South Africa for all.”
Maimane drew parallels between the incident involving Van Damme and a recent spate of controversial tweets from an account believed to be that of South Africa’s ambassador to Denmark, Zindzi Mandela-Hlongwane.
“Whether it’s Zindzi Mandela … or the incident taking place at the Waterfront, I would call upon all South Africans that we need to continue the project of reconciliation,” he concluded.
@Our_DA leader Mmusi Maimane says the only way to deal with racism is through reconciliation. This follows an incident involving DA MP @zilevandamme at the V&A Waterfront earlier this week. #SONA2019 @IOL pic.twitter.com/5sZBxMa3Vu
— Tshego Lepule (@tshegofatsang) June 20, 2019
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)