King Mswati III gets birthday jet

2012-04-25 13:37

Mbabane - Swazi King Mswati III has received a jet for his 44th birthday, despite the tiny country's crippling financial crisis, the prime minister said on state radio on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini said the king now owns a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 twin-engine jet, but insisted the plane was a gift to be used by Mswati and his 13 wives.

"His majesty's government has the honour to announce to the nation that the king has received a gift of a DC-9 aircraft from development partners and friends of the king, to be used by their majesties for travels abroad," Dlamini said.

Mswati celebrated his birthday on April 19 with a R3m ($386 000), partly paid by the state.

He is rated by Forbes magazine as the world's 15th richest monarch with a personal fortune of $100m, but he reins over one of the world's poorest nations.

The Swaziland Diaspora Platform, a human rights group based in South Africa, has rejected the government's explanation for the jet.

"No development partner would want to be anonymous, by their nature development agencies are transparent. We demand the release of full details of the donor and the value of the jet," spokesperson  Ntombenhle Khathwane said.

The banned Pudemo opposition also accused Mswati of using taxpayer money.

"He was secretly using it and only now do they feel bold enough to admit it. We have long said that this monarchy is a huge drain to the economy," spokesperson Zakhele Mabuza said.

Mswati in 2002 secretly used 28 million rand for the deposit on a 19-seater Bombardier Global Express long-range jet, but the move was halted after a huge uproar from parliament, opposition parties and civil society.

Swaziland is currently facing an economic crisis that has sparked protests in the tiny kingdom. Opposition groups, labour and students have protested to demand more democracy in Africa's last absolute monarchy.

  • Mable - 2012-04-25 13:57

    Sounds just like S.A.

  • Patrick - 2012-04-25 14:00

    UBUNTU!!!! The great african myth...........

  • James - 2012-04-25 14:05

    Obama's spend $4Mill on Hawai trip. Moochelle has been on +-14 vacations. Same thing.

      Neville - 2012-04-25 14:31

      Disgusting isn't it.

      Koos - 2012-04-25 14:38

      At least Obama was elected by the people of his country and he can be voted out - at the will of the liberated electorate. ... and he actually works for his salary and benefits...

      wesleywt - 2012-04-25 14:40

      James Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush spent more time on "vacation" during their first year than President Obama did. Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton spent less time on "vacation." He took a total of 26 days of vacation during his term. You must be a Fox News watcher. Its okay...stupid people love that show.

      Anton - 2012-04-25 15:56

      Obama doesn't rule over a starving nation...

      Bibi - 2012-04-25 16:32

      @James: you absolutely cannot compare Obama with this @ss hole. The Obama's work damn hard, while this fatso can hardly muster enough energy to see to his wives. You probably missed the part that Swaziland is one of the poorest nations.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-04-25 17:18

      Mswati knows he is on the list, and will not survive this decade, as the Rubbish King of Africa. That plane might be his escape, as when the time comes, there are many who will hunt him down !!!

  • Shaun - 2012-04-25 14:13

    Shame the guy is going to need the jet to escape his own country when his people start starving and coming after him for his Millions!

  • Mirrorman - 2012-04-25 14:20

    Ag shame....

  • Emmanuel - 2012-04-25 14:29

    Shameful ! With leaders like this , our beloved continent is doomed ! :(

  • Dave - 2012-04-25 14:33

    God save the Queen, Satin take the King

      nhla.prv - 2012-04-25 22:27

      Which of the 13wives is the queen here ?

  • Kevin - 2012-04-25 14:36

    Shame on the government - how can they give this world leader a miserable jet? The man deserves nothing less than a boeing 747. How else is he going to take his 13 cows with him??

  • Bruce - 2012-04-25 14:36

    This is obscene!

  • Jean - 2012-04-25 14:44

    I know the story, JZ and Mswati are in the competition,

      ewanvb - 2012-04-25 16:02

      Mswati gets a jet, Zuma wants an Aircraft-carrier. Goes to show how little they care about the economy and the people that they are supposed to govern. Mswati should rather use his stolen riches to sort out the economy of his country rather than splurging on expensive goods.

  • Ian - 2012-04-25 14:46

    ya whats new, lets hope the plane crashes and burns to be honest.. will save the country so many problems.

  • Piet - 2012-04-25 14:47

    Do you think he has a pilot for the craft?

  • lakhi.madala - 2012-04-25 14:56

    Confused: Do I still have to say, \Bayethe wena waPhakathi\ noma indlala ibhokile?

  • Rob - 2012-04-25 14:57

    Maybe it will crash.

  • Alex - 2012-04-25 15:00

    must be been bought with that loan, that was money well spent!

  • Hermann - 2012-04-25 15:01

    What the heck, why does he need a jet? The garden patch he exploits and robs is not that important in international politics - it is is not important at all.

  • Rhyno - 2012-04-25 15:03 to love it!

  • Vickela Mumby - 2012-04-25 15:06

    Bling bling king!

  • Gavin - 2012-04-25 15:34

    Where must I send the custom made bumper sticker for the plane that reads: F the poor ?

  • phinda.buthelezi - 2012-04-25 16:30

    Yey, Congrats King. Good for you. Please use yo jet and enjoy the friuts of being a king. You deserve being spoilt, Live large and I wish they can give you everything, they own and let them rot in poverty. NOT!!!

      themba.ntuli - 2012-04-25 16:48

      That is a bit hard bra given that the are no democratic institutions for the people to decide their future only the ruling elite does so lets be mild on their judgement because we have no idea what they go through and think of their nation

  • themba.ntuli - 2012-04-25 16:40

    we are crying for nouthing folks Mobutu of Zaire used to travel on a concord anyways the majority of his peasent subjects dont mind the king living a lavish lifestyle he is a king after all and must be pampered in the best possible way as any sovereign head of a nation.

  • comurray - 2012-04-25 17:02

    South Africa has paid for this aircraft from the billions to prevent the people from starving, typilce African thinking.

  • Gerhard - 2012-04-25 17:41

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

  • Sibonangaye - 2012-04-25 17:47

    it is easy to judge, very easy! The world is awash with blood today because of corrupt leaders who refuse to listen to their consciences. Leaders who do not care about the silent voices of the poor. This is coming to South Africa as well and it is not far away now. This is because this country is ruled by fools and because the poor particularly blacks are so gullible they keep voting the same liars and idiots into office thinking that their lot will change. That is it and until such a time that you realize as a person that your life is not important more than the next person's life we will keep seeing more of the same. The moment you get into a position of power and influence you think about a car, a mansion and wives and your children! what about thinking about the country first-the people and am sure in that way things would gradually fall into place. I pity the people of Swaziland because I know how the system works there.

  • Chaapo - 2012-04-25 21:19

    And the South African government keeps funding this madness!

  • Sibonangaye - 2012-04-26 11:55

    Chaapo SA has not given even a cent to this guy! The 2.4 billion rand did not go through because Mswati could not accept the conditions of the loan as stipulated by SA. So what he did he went to his arab friends and requested the money from there. As of talking he is flirting with Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea and some Sheiks from the Middle East particularly Kuwait and Qatar. Word has it that the tiny Kingdom did not even give a vote for Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma to head the AU at the persuasion of Nguema. Mswati thinks of himself and himself only. He does not care if Swazis die!

  • Ntokozo Simelane - 2012-04-26 12:03

    i wish he takes all his wives, Prime minister &government 4 vacation & their jet burn to ashes because hell wont embrace them!

  • eloff.groenewald - 2012-08-08 16:49

    this idiot should be disposed. him and his extended family take money from the aid agencys and put it in thier own pockets , and when you say something they de[port you

  • quartus.vanzyl - 2012-09-11 08:45

    this very same "kingdom" borrowed a billion rands a few months ago from us because they could not pay their public servants. Now we know what the money was really for. Of course the "loan" will never be paid back, so we actually donated this money to the "kingdom"

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