'Don't blame black DA leaders for this' - Van Damme

Phumzile van Damme has blasted people blaming black leaders for the DA's poor election results. /Gallo Images/ Deaan Vivier
Phumzile van Damme has blasted people blaming black leaders for the DA's poor election results. /Gallo Images/ Deaan Vivier

DA MP Phumzile van Damme could be "sent to Harvard University" after tweeting a scathing response to detractors within the party who blamed the DA's black party leaders for a decline in electoral support in the recent national elections.

This is how some on Twitter reacted to Van Damme's ferocious criticism of some in the party for apparently "scape-goating" black leaders for the DA's poor showing in the polls.

Some Twitter users suggested that Van Damme is at risk of being shipped out on sabbatical after it appeared as though her tweets were aimed at former party leader Helen Zille.

@MahlatseTalks tweeted: "You have been begging to be sent to Harvard lately sisi."

@VelempiniN tweeted: "subtwitting @helenzille are we?"

The DA's federal executive meeting is expected to be held today and might determine whether party leader Mmusi Maimane is fit to be at the helm.

Van Damme yesterday expressed her dissatisfaction with the blame that has been put on the doorstep of black party leaders after the opposition party failed to improve its support.

In a scathing thread on Twitter, Van Damme said: "No, actually. Enough. I've seen tweet after tweeting BS blaming black DA leaders for the results.

"I for one, have NEVER tweeted anything that is not DA policy.

"Our stance on BEE the fault? Well it's been so since 2013... 2014 did you vote DA? - 2016 did you vote DA?"

Van Damme seemed to be taking a swipe at fellow party members who she said tweeted "against DA policy preventing the DA's growth markets".

"See you can force my hand, I know what has been happening behind the scenes. But unlike you, I don't think I am special & DA rules don't apply to me. I'm not like the ones who came before me. I stare into a fire & smile. So come on through. Do your worst. Nonsense," she continued.

Van Damme could not be reached to clarify what the basis of her tweets was and who they were aimed at.

DA federal chairperson Athol Trollip said he does not comment on internal party issues in the media.

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