Former DA MP Phumzile Van Damme has defended Sol Plaatjie community leader Thoko Riet after video of her stuttering during an interview went viral on social media.
Riet, who spoke in SABC News about a water shutdown in Kimberley, Northern Cape, stuttered as she spoke and forgot what the interviewer asked.
She said the community was working to fix “billions of leaks”.
The video circulated on social media with many, including DA Bundesrat leader Helen Zille and DA MP Dean Macpherson, commenting on Riet’s responses.
“Judging from this interview, seems it’s that 30% is also a pass for the so – called ‘School of Government’,” Macpherson said.
To defend Riet, Van Damme said Macpherson said Riet’s command of the English language was not a measure of Intelligence.
“You can use her inability to communicate as a speaker, k comment without thinking them stupid. Should we attribute stupidity to white people who don’t bother learning black languages and have lived their whole lives in South Africa?
“These are the same people fighting for white Afrikaans to teach Afrikaans because English is too difficult, but black people must be able to speak his Master’s voice fluently,” she said.
A request for comment from the community was unsuccessful at the time of this article’s publication . Each update is recorded as soon as it is received.
On social media, many repeated Van Damme’s statement that English is not Riet’s first language.
Here is a snapshot of some of them the reactions:
Support independent journalism by subscribing to The Sunday Times. Only 20 R for the first month.