The DA’s former shadow minister of communications, Phumzile van Damme has resigned as a Member of Parliament (MP) and from the Democratic Alliance (DA).
On Thursday she announced that she has tendered her resignation to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, as an MP.
“This was not an easy decision to make, and it is done so with a heavy heart,” Van Damme said.
She described her time at the DA as “a full and life-shaping journey”, which included being the longest serving national spokesperson and shadow minister of communications.
“Reflecting on my time as an MP I can say that I am happy with my career and the mark that I leave behind through my contribution to South African politics.”
“During my seven-years as the Shadow Minister of Communications, and a Parliamentary Whip, I had the pleasure of witnessing the fruits of my hard labour.”
“When we took on the SABC and turned the tide on it being a state broadcaster and set it on a path to be a public broadcaster.”
“I led the charge against Bell Pottinger’s sordid SA disinformation and state capture campaign, which eventually led to the fall of the decades old company.”
Van Damme said she will not be joining another political party and will not be using my time to launch attacks on the DA.
“I leave on my own terms, having made my own decision. Nonetheless, in a climate of rumours and the need to create heroes and villains,” she said.
“My resignation as an MP is not because the DA is a so-called “racist party” but because of a clique of individuals – and not to make the good women and men still in the DA suffer, I will not delve further into this.”
She said she is focused on the future and will therefore not be conducting interviews or be drawn into any negativity that may emanate from the DA.
“Should the party choose to destroy my reputation and impugn my character, I will not engage in a back-and forth,” she said.
DA National Spokesperson Siviwe Gwarube said the party has received and accepted Van Damme’s resignation as an MP 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,” said Gwarube.
“From taking on Bell Pottinger, fighting for an independent SABC and her tenure as DA national spokesperson – she demonstrated her talent as a political communicator and a parliamentarian.”
The DA wished Van Damme well in her future endeavours.