Swazi king laughs off uprising hopes

2012-08-06 22:49
King Mswati iii. (AFP)

King Mswati iii. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mbabane - King Mswati III of Swaziland taunted the West and his domestic political opponents on Monday, saying their dreams of a popular uprising in Africa's last absolute monarchy would not be realised.

"Some from the Western world have been waiting patiently and nursing hopes that the people of Swaziland will revolt and bring about regime change," the polygamous, UK-educated monarch told a rare public meeting in the impoverished southern African nation.

"Swazis are known the world over for being peace-loving and I would like to urge you to remain like that," he told the crowd of 500 elders assembled to chart a route out of a severe economic slump.

Mswati, who has at least a dozen wives and a personal fortune estimated at $200m, faced unprecedented protests 18 months ago when his appointed administration ran out of money after a 2009 recession in South Africa.

The cash crunch, caused by a collapse in regional customs receipts that normally accounted for 60% of state revenues, emboldened his pro-democracy opponents, who also took heart from uprisings against autocratic rulers in North Africa and the Middle East.

The government managed to keep itself afloat by running a Greece-scale budget deficit, eating into central bank reserves and raiding the state workers' pension fund until customs receipts picked up this year.

Despite the straitened times in the nation of 1.5 million, which has the world's most acute HIV/Aids burden, the royal household has shown few signs of wanting to tighten its belt.

Last month, South Africa's Mail&Guardian newspaper reported that three of Mswati's wives joined a 66-strong royal entourage heading to Las Vegas on a shopping spree. There has been no comment from Mswati's side.

Read more on:    king mswati iii  |  swaziland  |  southern africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
24 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Love is in the air and it is swirling around you in a romantic mist. This may be an idealistic yearning for that perfect love or...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.