Mswati fires his queen’s lover

2010-09-25 00:00

KING Mswati III of Swaziland has finally fired his justice minister for having an affair with one of his 14 queens.

The affair between minister Ndumiso Mamba and Nothando Dube, a 22-year-old former Miss Teen Swaziland, was long rumoured, but confirmed in a recent sting operation when police raided the exclusive Royal Villas hotel just seven miles from the palace on the outskirts of Mbabane. They discovered Mamba hiding inside the base of the queen’s double bed.

Photographs of the arrest have circulated in the media ever since. They show security officials standing around the upturned bed looking down at the minister.

Dube apparently liked to disguise herself as a soldier in order to sneak out of the royal palace and meet her lover undetected.

At a five-minute news conference, the country’s Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini announced Mamba’s resignation as minister and senator.

The prime minister gave scant details, explaining only that Mamba had resigned “following certain allegations circulating in the country”.

Mamba, who is in jail, is likely to serve a lengthy prison term for his actions. Dube, who married the king six years ago and has borne two children, will spend the rest of her life under 24-hour surveillance while living with the king’s mother.

King Mswati III, who has at least 23 children, has been criticised by human rights groups as a luxury-loving dictator who runs the country of a million people as a fiefdom.

Experts on the political situation inside the country said that the king hesitated before firing Mamba, as the two men — who have been friends since childhood — have collaborated on numerous business deals.

“Mamba knows too much, so Mswati has to find a way of dealing with this,” one expert said.

“If he flees into exile with the royal secrets, that would be a major problem for Mswati.”

In 2004 two other wives fled to London as rumours of their alleged infidelity spread across the country.

 

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