Fomer DA MP Phumzile van Damme Picture Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures
Fomer DA MP Phumzile van Damme Picture Henk Kruger/ANA Pictures

'Drag me, I'll drag you', warns van Damme in scathing tweets to DA leader John Steenhuisen

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Aug 25, 2021

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Former DA MP Phumzile van Damme’s sudden resignation from the party a few months ago seems to have been fuelled by an altercation with MP Natasha Mazzone.

A series of tweets were shared on Van Damme’s page on Wednesday in which she dismissed claims by DA leader John Steenhuisen that she resigned from the party due to her family migrating to Norway. In a media report, Steenhuisen said “she migrated to Norway with her husband, and her job doesn't allow her to be a member of any political party”.

Among others, she hit back at the party and said. “I am SO glad my name is no longer associated with the joke the DA has become under your leadership. YOU are the country's laughingstock & in the DA. I was not going to engage in war but you just couldn't keep your trap shut could you @jsteenhuisen? Mention my name again. I beg. [sic]”

In relation to the Facebook incident, Van Damme said she wanted to challenge Facebook’s decision of pulling out of a Parliamentary meeting at the last minute, but Mazzone cautioned her from doing so. Her tweet reads: “Facebook decided to pull out of a Parly meeting at the 11th hour. I'd written a statement expressing disappointment at FB. Mazzone refused for the statement to go out because she said going after FB would make it difficult for the DA to use the platform to campaign. [sic]”

She further claimed Steenhuisen’s claim that she had migrated was not true. “Right, I was going to do this. I see @jsteenhuisen has lied to the media about why I resigned from the DA. I was going to leave this. The day I resigned, I was told by the Chief Whip, Mazzone to lay off Facebook. I could not do that & compromise my values so I resigned. [sic]”

Mazzone said she only comments on matters involving DA members: "I have not seen nor spoken to Phumzile for months. She is not a DA member anymore, I have nothing to comment about."

Independent Media contacted Steenhuisen’s chief of staff, Ryan Smith, for comment. His response read: “No, we aren’t commenting.”

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