Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) has challenged Timothy Velabo (TV) Mtetwa, the kingdom’s ‘traditional prime minister’, who denied that Inkhosikati LaDube, King Mswati III’s 12th wife, had been expelled from the royal palace.
The SSN and the world’s media reported at the weekend that LaDube, who was in August 2010 discovered to be having an affair with the then Justice Minister Ndumiso Mamba, had been thrown out the palace after she tried to leave to take her child away for medical treatment.
LaDube told South Africa’s Sunday Times of the ordeal she suffered at the palace.
Yesterday (21 November 2011), the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, published an interview with Mtetwa in which he denied she had been thrown out and claimed she had gone to visit her grandmother.
SSN said in a statement, ‘What has since transpired is that LaDube was actually not even taken to her parental home in Zibonele, an area in the Hhohho region. She has literally been dumped in Mshingishingini, an area under the chieftainship of Chief Ngangaza. She has no food and the house she was dumped in has no bedding.’
SSN said LaDube has been under ‘house arrest’ for a year and guards sleep at her home to check on her.
SSN said, ‘The king’s wives are not given the freedom to visit their homesteads. Never in the history of this archaic institution have royal bodyguards slept at a king’s wife’s home. The king’s wives are not even allowed to bury their relatives. If they fall ill they are expected to rehabilitate at the royal residence, not at their own homes. How can the poor outcast then be given unprecedented freedom to visit her parents. T.V. Mtetwa is lying through his false teeth.
‘Since the king is in seclusion, the norm is that such matters are never discussed with the public. T.V. Mtetwa knows this very well, but for the simple reason that his master’s dirty linen is exposed, he decided to go against the age-old custom.’
SSN added, ‘Most importantly, LaDube is no longer considered a king’s wife by the royal family. She is considered as a mere aide who looks after the king’s children. Proof of this is the fact that she was ordered not to attend any royal function since last year.’
‘TIMES SIDES WITH TV AGAINST QUEEN’
KING’S WIFE THROWN OUT OF PALACE