News24

Swazi king demands cows from poor subjects

2012-04-02 22:31

Mbabane - Swazi King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch, has ordered his impoverished subjects to give him cows for his birthday celebrations this month, the home affairs minister said on Monday.

Chiefs from the Shiselweni region, where the celebrations will be held, will have to canvas their subjects for cattle to be slaughtered for the king, who turns 44 on April 19, Prince Gcokoma said.

"Chiefs from the Shiselweni, as hosts, are expected to provide cattle to be slaughtered on the day," Gcokoma told AFP.

"They are fully aware of the fundamental role they're expected to play as they are the ones who will be hosting the king on his memorable day."

Gcokoma said the country's precarious finances meant the government did not have enough in the budget to pay for the event, which was cancelled last year due to the crippling fiscal crisis that has left the kingdom struggling to pay wages.

But the government this year has nonetheless pledged to make a contribution toward the R5m budgeted for the celebrations.

Mswati is rated by Forbes magazine as among the world's 15 richest monarchs, with a personal fortune of more than $100m. He has 13 wives, each with their own palace.

But 60% of his subjects live on less than two dollars a day in one of the world's poorest countries, which is bordered on three sides by South Africa.

Swaziland's banned opposition party Pudemo has demanded that the kingdom cancel the birthday party.

"We call for the celebrations to be cancelled and the resources channelled to the provision of scholarships for deprived students," party spokesperson Zakhele Mabuza said.

Comments
  • michael.a.devilliers - 2012-04-02 22:46

    Hopefully his subjects get an idea or two from the Arab spring.

  • braamc - 2012-04-02 22:50

    Moooo, is common to "steal" from the poor, especially in SA

  • Smell - 2012-04-02 23:32

    No problem with having a monarchy - nice for ceremonial purposes. But that is where it should end. It is an outrage that a "King" is still running a country in 2012. What is it with our ANC government that they are not pushing for democratic rule in Swaziland? Oh I forgot... our government has not supported democratic rule in Zimbabwe (where is president Tsvangirai?), Lybia, and many other states in Africa and the Middle East either. The "democratic" process is apparently only a temporary thing for getting rid of White rulers, and then the autocratic fun starts.

      promise.jobe - 2012-04-03 04:45

      i dont think ANC is having the power in onother country , ANC is for SOUTH AFRICA NOT SWAZILAND SO DONT DARE PUT ANC IN SWAZILAND LEADERSHIP ,THATS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS SMELL AND YOUR WHAT SO CALLED ANC

      promise.jobe - 2012-04-03 04:45

      i dont think ANC is having the power in onother country , ANC is for SOUTH AFRICA NOT SWAZILAND SO DONT DARE PUT ANC IN SWAZILAND LEADERSHIP ,THATS NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS SMELL AND YOUR WHAT SO CALLED ANC

      Franklyn - 2012-04-23 23:22

      can anyone understand this drivel ?

  • Michael McN - 2012-04-03 00:25

    Spare the cows. Let the king easy cowpies!

  • Michael McN - 2012-04-03 00:26

    Spare the cows. Let the king eat cowpies!

  • promise.jobe - 2012-04-03 04:38

    If there is no money ,let the celebration be cancelled rather than forcing others to donate

  • Faizie - 2012-04-03 04:41

    Let them eat cow. Ooops cake !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Michael McN - 2012-04-03 05:02

    Oops, just realized some won't get the American slang in my earlier comment. Cowpies are the piles of dung cows make, especially the ones they sit on and flatten like a pie.

  • Carry - 2012-04-03 06:12

    His people are starving and he wants them to give him cows for his birthday. He should be feeding them for his birthday celebrations. It's a wonder that he is not asking for another 10 brides!!!!!

  • Stormkaap - 2012-04-03 06:16

    What he needs from the poor is a kick up his backside!

  • leigh.ridgway - 2012-04-03 07:32

    His STUPID title has given this idiot such a sense of entitlement that he feels he has to demand cows from people who can't even feed their own families and themselves! It's disgusting!

  • swavka - 2012-04-03 07:36

    The reason why SA and ANC do nothing about Swaziland - has to do with chrome and coal mining, of which Chancellor House is heavily invested in.So really they don't give two hoots what happens there as long as the money keeps rolling in.

  • Gerhard - 2012-04-03 09:44

    Why don't they drown him in a pig's trough?

  • Mable - 2012-04-03 12:06

    13 cows should be fine 4 de ceremony...

  • Suprise - 2012-04-03 12:34

    LONG LIVE THE STING!!!!

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2012-04-03 14:43

    Give him the cows and you daughthers. Ha ha ha ha ha. Viva Mswati Viva. PPL of Swaziland are idiots, seriously.

  • Sibonangaye - 2012-04-05 19:33

    Some of the comments here like psbuthelezi's show how ignorant people may be. South Africa is free today because of sympathizers from all over Africa and if it was not from that the idea of bantustands would have been cemented. Swazis are powerless and have no weapons and the army and the police imprison and kill them at will with impunity. Remember the ANC was getting weapons from Russia and China and today South Africa and particularly the ANC cannot help in this regard not even criticize Mswati's leadership because they have farms in Swaziland and chancellor house has shares in Maloma coal mine. But one day the tables will turn against the ANC itself and Mswati's leadership. watch the space! Greed and self aggrandisement is never eternal.

  • Franklyn - 2012-04-23 23:25

    Isnt 1 cow enough ?

  • THEONE.GATES - 2012-04-24 09:27

    Cant he just grow up and stop bullying the country to non existence. He has his investments let Him take the money from there if He really cares for the people He claims to love when he needs something from them. SWAZIS its time we deal with this it is nothing compared to apartheid

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