Why is Bathabile Dlamini licking a cup in parliament?

Whatever the social development minister is drinking must have been so good she could not let a single drop go to waste.

A video of Social Development Minister and ANC Women’s League leader Bathabile Dlamini in parliament has emerged that once again triggers questions about her sobriety.

In the video, the minister can be seen drinking from a cup, though she keeps licking the contents that appear to have leaked on to the side of the cup.

It looks like she’s drinking tea, judging from the string of a teabag that can be seen hanging from the cup. However, those who have watched the video claim the minister may be drinking tea mixed with something “so valuable” to Dlamini that she could not let a single drop go to waste.

Some, however, have said everyone does what Dlamini is doing in the video, a claim former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor said is patently false.

Dlamini has often found herself accused of being a drunkard, which she has denied time and again. Earlier this year, her spokesperson, Lumka Oliphant, went on a Facebook rant defending her boss against claims that she addressed a crowd while drunk.

In a long post, Oliphant started by warning her boss’ haters that she was capable of tearing anyone apart and taking a Facebook or Twitter conversation “to the streets”.

“If it were all up to her, South Africa would not be drinking, there would be no advertising. So okukun*a nihlala nikuthetha, nikubhala is just that – kukun*a (so the sh*t you always write and talk about is just that – sh*t),” she said.

Oliphant said she did not have a problem with people who said whatever they wanted about her politics, as it was part of the game. All she was asking was for people not to talk “sh*t” about her.
“Just know that, from today on, I have decided to take this alcohol matter where you have taken it.”
ANCWL condemns article alleging Dlamini was not sober.

Dlamini is not the first MP to lick a cup in parliament. Two years ago, former minister of energy Tina Joemat-Pettersson was turned into a meme after being pictured in parliament licking a cup, though there were no questions about her sobriety then.


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