Van Damme: Female MP punches man during alleged racist incident

MP Phumzile van Damme.

A female Member of Parliament says she punched a man in self-defence.

Phumzile van Damme from South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance said she punched the man after her allegedly racially abused her.

According to the lawmaker, she got into a row with a white woman at a popular tourist destination in Cape Town when the man stepped in.

Van Damme said she was standing in a supermarket queue when she quarrelled with the woman who 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.’

She said the man “was threatening violence so in self-defence I punched him in the head”.

The legislator further expressed her unhappiness with the establishment’s reaction after she reported the matter.


The V&A Waterfront has apologised for the incident stating, “We regret this incident, which we did not handle with the necessary objectivity, respect and empathy,” they wrote on twitter.

Van Damme accepted the apology but has threatened to file charges with the police.

Radio presenter attacked

This comes three months after a South African radio presenter, Samora Mangesi was attacked after stopping to assist a group of white people whose vehicle had overturned.

After stopping to check on the group, they allegedly referred to Mangesi and his friends as ‘monkeys.’

“When we engaged them on why we were being called such, they beat me up until I was unconscious,” wrote the presenter, sharing photos of his badly swollen face.