The ANC Women’s League (ANCWL) has defended its president Bathabile Dlamini and rejected reports that she was allegedly intoxicated at an official public event in Germiston on Friday.
Dlamini’s spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant, also took to Facebook where, in coarse language, she berated those accusing Dlamini of having been drunk.
This was not the first time that rumours of alleged drinking by Dlamini, who is also minister of social development, had surfaced.
The ANCWL said in a statement yesterday that such reports were part of a “smear campaign” to discredit Dlamini.
The latest furore over Dlamini follows after the ANCWL recently announced it supports Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma for the governing party’s leadership which drew the ire of certain ANC leaders trying to contain the succession debate.
“The [ANCWL] has noted with disdain the article published by The Citizen that alleged that … Dlamini addressed the event in Germiston in a drunken state on Friday. The article further alleged that [her] address was off topic and spoke about the schools she attended and her childhood. All these allegations are lies. The president was sober and standing during her speech and she spoke on the challenges of the Young Women’s Desk, education and women, and the economy,” the statement read.
The Citizen’s report was an aggregation of an article that first appeared in the Daily Sun.
The ANCWL is now threatening to lay a complaint against the Citizen with the Press Ombudsman because of what it calls “defamatory allegations”.
Meanwhile, Oliphant caused a stir on Facebook where she challenged journalists to publish her foul language.
“Let me just tell you about the Bathabile Dlamini I know and her attitude towards alcohol … if it were up to her, South Africa would not be drinking, there would be no alcohol advertising.” She challenged reporters who wanted to publish her rant to “go the f*ck ahead”.