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Monday, 2 August 2010


A Swazi cabinet minister has been jailed on the orders of King Mswati III.

His ‘crime’: sleeping with one of the king’s many wives while the king was on a trip to Taiwan.

King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, has ordered that his instruction, which is completely against the Swaziland Constitution, be kept a secret.

Some hope. Ironically, the man now behind bars is the Swaziland Justice Minister Ndumiso Mamba.

It is alleged that he was caught having sex with Nothando Dube, the 12th of Mswati’s 14 wives, at the luxury hotel, the Royal Villas, at Ezulwini outside the kingdoms capital, Mbabane.

The minister was detained by police and then moved to Big Bend prison, according to reports circulating outside Swaziland.

One report said the jailing was ‘on the orders of the king, who also instructed that the matter be kept secret and that the minister be kept in jail until the king returned from a 10-day state visit to Taiwan’.

There were fears that if they were freed the two could flee the country.

In a sinister development, Swazi media houses fear their telephones may be bugged after Swazi authorities warned them not to talk with newspapers and media in South Africa about the arrest.

Meanwhile, Nothando Dube is being held under 24-hour surveillance at the queen mother’s royal palace at Ludzidzini in Mbabane while waiting for the king to return.

The City Press in South Africa reported on the case yesterday (1 August 2010) and says it has four separate sources for the information. It also gives detailed background of the possible consequences to the Swazi Royal Family of the scandal. To read more click here.

The Swaziland Solidarity Network has also issued information about the scandal. Nothando Dube was 16 years old when she married King Mswati and is a year younger than King Mswati’s eldest child. Nothando Dube attempted to commit suicide when she felt the king had betrayed her by taking another wife. To read more click here.

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