Waterfront apologises to DA MP Phumzile van Damme after she throws punch 'in self-defence' during alleged racist ordeal

2019-06-18 17:49
Phumzile van Damme. (Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, Rapport)

Phumzile van Damme. (Conrad Bornman, Gallo Images, Rapport)

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The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town has apologised to DA MP Phumzile van Damme for the treatment she received from a security manager following an alleged racist ordeal at the popular tourist destination on Tuesday.

"We regret this incident, which we did not handle with the necessary objectivity, respect and empathy," the institution tweeted on Tuesday evening.

In a video on Twitter, van Damme explained what happened in her view, saying she was standing in a queue when she had a quarrel with the mother of a family at one of the supermarkets. The mother allegedly told her she would "push [her] aside".

"Then when I went out, she was standing there with her family in a threatening manner. And I went to her and said, 'Why are you looking at me in a threatening manner?' Then she said, 'It's because you're black.'"

At this point, her voice becomes emotional.

Van Damme said the incident resulted in her punching a young man "in self-defence", after he came into her space and allegedly said "voetsek you black" and threw her phone on the ground.

She shared her frustration with the way a manager from the Waterfront dealt with her complaint.

"Management of @VandAWaterfront if you're going to allow racism & racists on your premisis [sic], please announce it to all. I will not stand for anyone’s racism towards me or anyone. And don’t send me some PR clichéd response either, ACTION," she tweeted.

She shared that the correct thing to do would have been for the manager to take her details and apologise for what happened. She asked that the centre bans the family from the premises.

Waterfront spokesperson Donald Kau said earlier on Tuesday that they were "engaging with her directly on this issue, as well as with the security manager involved to get a full account of the incident".

Kau said they were also reviewing video footage of the alleged incident.

"We do not tolerate any act of racism at the V&A Waterfront, an environment which daily sees thousands of visitors from all walks of life, from all over the country, and all over the world, enjoying its facilities," said Kau.

"We would ban anyone who displays racist behaviour on the property, with immediate effect."

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Read more on:    v&a waterfront  |  phumzile van damme  |  cape town  |  racism

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