Phumzile van Damme to lay charges against 'racist' family after V&A Waterfront altercation

DA MP Phumzile van Damme is preparing to lay charges after an alleged racist incident at the Waterfront in Cape Town.
DA MP Phumzile van Damme is preparing to lay charges after an alleged racist incident at the Waterfront in Cape Town.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme is not letting the "racist" altercation at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town go any time soon.

She says she is in the process of drafting an affidavit to lay a formal charge with the police. 

“I am consulting Glynnis Breytenbach, who used to be at the NPA [National Prosecuting Authority], to draft a comprehensive affidavit so the law can take its course,” Van Damme said on Wednesday. 

She is hoping that the police will get the CCTV footage of the incident and charge the family who were involved.

But Van Damme conceded it may be difficult because she did not get the names of the people who she said where aggressive and racist towards her. She blamed the security manager of the V&A Waterfront for allowing the family to leave without resolving the matter. 

“I don’t regret anything I said. I punched the man in self-defence. I just wish I recorded the incident so I have something to back me up,” she said. 

Van Damme on Tuesday first tweeted details of the altercation at the mall, where she said a patron pushed her in a store and later told her, “It’s because you are black.” 

She said the incident began at a Clicks store, where a woman pushed her and refused to apologise. 

I sat in my car shaking for 10 minutes. I was on the edge of a panic attack.
Phumzile van Damme

She said when she confronted the woman outside the store, they became aggressive towards her and said, “Voetsek, you black!” 

“It was extremely traumatising. I was made to feel like a subhuman," said Van Damme. "I tried to film this to expose them. The man grabbed my phone and he held it over the bannister and then threw it on the ground.” 

She said she was livid and believed the security manager did not deal with the matter appropriately.

While V&A management have since apologised to her, Van Damme said she hoped more people would speak out against racism. 

“It hurt and it was emotionally scarring. I sat in my car shaking for 10 minutes. I was on the edge of a panic attack,” she said, adding that no one else should go through what she went through.


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