Van Damme explained that it all began during a visit on Tuesday to V & A.
“Then when I went out, she was standing there with her family in a threatening manner. And I went to her and said, ‘why are you looking at me in a threatening manner?’ Then she said, ‘it’s because you’re black’.”
Van Damme says one of the family members then approached her in a threatening manner and she defended herself by punching the person in the head.
Phumzile van Damme says V & A Management let the family go after she reported the incident and “treated her like rubbish” when she complained about what happened.
Later on Tuesday, V & A management issued an apology to van Damme on its Twitter page, acknowledging it mishandled the incident.
“We regret this incident which we did not handle with the necessary objectivity, respect and empathy. We do not tolerate any treatment that would diminish the standing of any member of our community.”
Van Damme quickly replied to V & A.
Thank you for your apology, I appreciate it. Please train your staff better and I am glad to see your commitment to banning anyone from your mall who exhibits racist behaivour. https://t.co/xggUgc8xlG
— Phumzile Van Damme (@zilevandamme) June 18, 2019
Waterfront spokesperson Donald Kau also says the property is fully engaging with van Damme on this issue, as well as with the security manager involved to get a full account of the incident”.
Kau said they were also reviewing video footage of the alleged incident.
“We do not tolerate any act of racism at the V & A Waterfront, an environment which daily sees thousands of visitors from all walks of life, from all over the country, and all over the world, enjoying its facilities,” said Kau.
“We would ban anyone who displays racist behaviour on the property, with immediate effect.”