Cape Town – DA leader John Steenhuisen has wielded his axe on his shadow cabinet, removing Phumzile van Damme as shadow minister for communications. But the move may spell trouble for the opposition party.
In a statement released on Saturday, the DA announced that Van Damme was being replaced by Zakhele Mbhele as the party spokesperson on communications and digital technologies in Parliament.
@jsteenhuisen that he is granting me a sabbatical. I didn’t 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
Van Damme, who has been on sick leave for three months, insisted that she was capable of carrying out her duties and that her illness was being used to sideline her. Her social media followers were quick to condemn the DA leader’s move.
On Saturday the party also announced that Steenhuisen has removed Nomsa Marchesi as spokesperson on basic education, and she has been replaced by Bax Nodada.