Zakhele Mbhele replaces Phumzile van Damme as DA Shadow Comms Minister
Initially, Van Damme said she would challenge the decision, but she appeared to have changed her mind.
JOHANNESBURG - Zakhele Mbhele is the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) new Shadow Minister of Communications.
Chief Whip Natasha Mazzone told Eyewitness News the sabbatical is to allow Van Damme time to recover from a debilitating illness and that it's just for three months.
It’s now not clear what will happen to Van Damme or Mbbele after the three-month period.
Mbhele was previously Deputy Shadow Minister of Small Business.
Mazzone said a new cabinet is appointed after every party congress.
Initially, Van Damme said she would challenge the decision, but she appeared to have changed her mind. She now says she'll 'abide by this instruction' and said she will communicate with the party through her lawyers in 2021.
I have been informed by the Federal Leader of the DA @jsteenhuisen that he is granting me a sabbatical. I didnt request it. He merely informed me. I could walk away, but I choose to stay, and challenge it ON PRINCIPLE.Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) December 4, 2020
I intend to abide by this instruction. Im on sabbatical until 30 March 2021 as instructed. The party and I will talk through my lawyers in 2021. https://t.co/9wVPgDhrCnPhumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) December 5, 2020