Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Phumzile Van Damme has resigned as a MP. Van Damme was placed on special leave by the party in November 2020 without consultation.
Van Damme resigned on Thursday as MP but will stay on as a party member of the DA.
“I have had a full and life-shaping journey as a Democratic Alliance (DA) activist, staff member, the longest serving National Spokesperson from 2014 to 2018, and a Shadow Minister, which I put my all into,” said Van Damme in a statement released on Thursday.
Van Damme says she will not be joining another party.
“To be clear, I will not be joining another political party, nor will I be using my time to launch attacks on the DA,” says Van Damme.
Van Damme says she is leaving the DA “not because the DA is a so-called ‘racist party’ but because of a clique of individuals”.
I have today tendered my resignation as a DA MP. Thank you so much, South Africa ❤️?? pic.twitter.com/3Z1N1rSJD5
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) May 20, 2021
Video: Phumzile van Damme resigns from the DA
The DA says it has accepted her resignation. She has been a member of the National Assembly since 2014, mainly serving on the portfolio committee on Communications.
DA spokesperson, Siviwe Gwarube, says the party wishes her well.
“We extend our best wishes to Phumzile and thank her for her extraordinary service to the DA in Parliament and by extension, the country. From taking on Bell Pottinger, fighting for an independent SABC and her tenure as DA National Spokesperson – Phumzile demonstrated her talent as a political communicator and a parliamentarian,” said DA National Spokesperson, Siviwe Gwarube, in a statement.
The DA has received and accepted the resignation of Phumzile Van Damme as a Member of Parliament and from the Party.
We extend our best wishes to Phumzile and thank her for her extraordinary service to the DA in Parliament and by extension, the country.https://t.co/xRTdoduLPf
— Democratic Alliance (@Our_DA) May 20, 2021
Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says the loss of Van Damme is a big blow for the DA. He says van Damme has been beleaguered for some time in the party.
Mathekga says however she has several options available to her. He says her departure from the party is significant, especially in light of the setbacks it has recently suffered.