Phumzile van Damme

DA’s Phumzile Van Damme. Photo by Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath

Phumzile van Damme shoots down claims of DA ‘black exodus’

There is no such thing as a black exodus in the DA, Phumzile van Damme claims.

Phumzile van Damme

DA’s Phumzile Van Damme. Photo by Gallo Images / Rapport / Deon Raath

As the roof of the DA burns, with recent shocking exits by leader, Mmusi Maimane, Athol Trollip, Herman Mashaba — and now John Steenhuisen, Phumzile van Damme has doused raging murmurs about an impending ‘black exodus’.

DA exodus: What is the latest?

It has been quite an eventful 24 hours. The DA’ unravelling started at the close of the party’s two-day Fed-ex council meeting, where Helen Zille was ushered back into the helm as the council chairperson.

This victory meant that Herman Mashaba had to hold true to his word and resign as Johannesburg mayor, and so he did. Then, just 48 hours later, on Wednesday evening, Maimane and Trollip followed suit, charging that the DA, was in fact, not “the vehicle best suited to take forward the vision of building one South Africa for all”.

The DA, the biggest opposition party in South Africa, is now officially without a leader. Speaking outside of Parliament, where the party has convened an urgent caucus meeting, Steenhuisen confirmed that he has, indeed, vacated his position as Chief Whip, but remains a member of the DA.

He would not confirm, nor deny, however, his intention to vie for the vacant Joburg mayor and party leadership posts that are currently open for contestation.

Fake news: WhatsApp text claiming black exodus media briefing

As the party stumbles on shaky grounds, a WhatsApp broadcast message has been in circulation, claiming that a ‘black exodus’ was brewing.

The message claimed that Van Damme, Solly Msimang and Makashule Gana, all DA MPs, were going to hold a media briefing, on Monday, 28 October, at the party’s headquarters in Johannesburg, to announce their resignation.

However, Van Damme, who has been vocal about the current ongoings of the DA, quickly labelled that message as fake news

Phumzile van Damme rubbishes rumours she is leaving

Van Damme has also made it quite clear that, unlike Mashaba and Maimane, she was there to stay and fight for “one South Africa for all”.