V&A Waterfront takes on Phumzile Van Damme's racism complaint
In a thread of tweets she posted on Tuesday, Van Damme says one of the family member came to her face and threatened to use violence against her while she was trying to record the incident on her phone.
JOHANNESBURG – The V&A Waterfront has responded after Democratic Alliance Member of Parliament Phumzile Van Damme accused the shopping mall's management of allowing a racist attack against her.
Van Damme said on social media on Tuesday she punched a man in the head. She said she was defending herself after he threatened violence. She said the incident happened after a woman threatened her while she was standing in a queue.
Van Damme said she was racially attacked by the white family. In a thread of tweets she posted on Tuesday, Van Damme explained how one family member came up to her face and threatened to use violence against her, while she was trying to record the incident on her phone.
She said the family member, who can be seen wearing a black T-shirt in pictures, said: “Voetsek, you black.”
The family. This lady was filming me the entire time, so I tried to take photos & that little shit in the black t-shirt came to my face & came within my face & “voetsek you black” & threw on the ground. He was threatening violence so in self-defense I punched him in the head. pic.twitter.com/fJL994ICU8— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) June 18, 2019
Van Damme accused the V&A Waterfront's security of letting the family go, despite reporting the incident to them.
Spokesperson for the V&A Waterfront Donald Kau said on Tuesday they were aware of the incident and would contact Van Damme.
Kau said they spoke to the security manager who was on duty on the day of the incident. He added they were investigating the matter.
“We have contacted Mrs Van Damme to get her account of the incident and we will also be looking at the actions of the security manager on the scene and that of the family individuals involved. We do not tolerate any act of racism at the V&A Waterfront. It’s an environment which has thousands of visitors coming through to all walks of life from all over the country and all over the world. We will ban anyone who displays racist behaviour on the property.”
We regret this incident, which we did not handle with the necessary objectivity, respect and empathy.— V&A Waterfront (@VandAWaterfront) June 18, 2019
We are a neighbourhood of the city of Cape Town and are committed to giving all our visitors a pleasant experience to enjoy and to treating them with respect.— V&A Waterfront (@VandAWaterfront) June 18, 2019