Accusations of being a drunkard affected me and my family, says Dlamini

Accusations of being a drunkard affected me and my family, says Dlamini

JOHANNESBURG - Former Cabinet minister Bathabile Dlamini says she was so affected by allegations that she was a drunkard that she even went to see a neurologist to check whether something was wrong with her.

In a wide-ranging exclusive interview with Eyewitness News, the African National Congress Women’s League president opened up about how claims that she has a drinking problem have affected her and her family.

"With the kids, they are very strong and even their schools have protected them in a particular way. And I never had, or faced a child crying because something was said at school because of what came up in the news about me," she said.

She said her mother had been very supportive.

Dlamini has repeatedly denied the claims of her excessive drinking, going as far as revealing that she is epileptic and has never touched alcohol.

WATCH: I don’t drink, I’m epileptic - Bathabile Dlamini

She told EWN when the claims did not stop she decided to see her neurologist to find out what could be leading people to think she is always drunk. She said he adjusted her epilepsy medication.

“As much as I was fighting saying that I don’t drink and everyone was accusing me of drinking, I politicised the issue because we were dealing with the issues of alcohol and drug abuse, but I also had to look into myself and do self-introspection,” Dlamini said.

So, why did she go see a doctor when she knew the truth?

“Because I was worried and this thing was spreading like wildfire,” she said.

Dlamini said she was concerned because only a few close friends and fellow party members defended her from the accusations.

WATCH: ANC is not ready for a woman president - Bathabile Dlamini

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)