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Mazzone: DA only had good intentions for granting Van Damme sabbatical

Over the weekend, DA leader John Steenhuisen announced Van Damme would be taking a sabbatical to look after her health.

DA MP Phumzile Van Damme arrives on the red carpet outside Parliament for the 2020 State of the Nation Address. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA)'s chief whip Natasha Mazzone said it was unfortunate that the good intention to grant MP Phumzile van Damme time off while she fought a chronic illness had turned ugly.

Over the weekend, DA leader John Steenhuisen announced Van Damme would be taking a sabbatical to look after her health.

ALSO READ: DA insists Van Damme sabbatical is for her own good

Mazzone said the intention was never to undermine Van Damme and the party was only trying to show kindness while caring for a colleague.

“If after this three months she feels that she’s not okay and feeling significantly better, we will reassess the situation. But it was never meant to be in any way anything either than a caring and kind way to approach a colleague who is suffering from a debilitating illness.”

However, Van Damme - who remains a member of Parliament - seems to have taken offence at what she sees as " a forced sabbatical".

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