Phumzile van Damme and V&A Waterfront bury the hatchet following apology after 'racist incident'

2019-06-19 08:07
Phumzile van Damme.

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

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DA MP Phumzile van Damme has accepted an apology by the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town following a "racist" altercation at the upmarket venue on Tuesday. 

"Thank you for your apology, I appreciate it. Please train your staff better and I am glad to see your commitment to banning anyone from your mall who exhibits racist behaivour [sic]," Van Damme tweeted on Tuesday at 21:10. 

The popular tourist destination earlier apologised to Van Damme for the treatment she received from a security manager following the incident.

"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 would have been for the manager to take her details and apologise for what happened. She asked that the centre ban 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."


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