The Internet has been buzzing with the story since it broke last Sunday (1 August 2010) and now sites in all parts of the globe are carrying reports and comments. The only people not hearing about it are Swazis themselves as there is a news blackout on the story in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.
The sex scandal involving Nothando Dube (also known as Inkhosikati LaDube) and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Ndumiso Mamba has put the spotlight on King Mswati and his polygamous lifestyle. Depending on which report you read, the king has 13 or 14 wives (the truth is that King Mswati’s subjects are not allowed to know how many wives they are supporting with their taxes as this is considered by the king to be none of their business).
Some commentators are poking fun at the king and saying, ‘So the King’s wife cheats on him, what the hell, he has eleven other wives to worry about. I am sure his ego is hurt, sharing his wife with one of his subjects.
Others write along the lines of, ‘if he’s got so many wives he won’t miss one’.
Who am I to stop them having their fun at the king’s expense, but the scandal has revealed serious concerns about the king’s lifestyle and the way women are treated in his kingdom.
One commentator pointed out that although Dube had committed adultery, ‘she is cheating on a man who is allowed to change beds on an “eenie meenie mynie mo” basis’.
Another gave this analysis, ‘While it is fine for the king to have multiple wives, they are supposed to be faithful to him.
‘Dube has now been confined to house arrest and may be banished from the kingdom.
‘Mamba has been arrested and charged with “trespassing into another man’s home.”
‘The charge seems absurd when considering that Mswati’s wife and Mamba committed adultery. Then again, charging one of the wives with adultery when a man is married to 13 of them sounds a bit absurd as well.
‘Adultery gives the impression that Queen Dube actually has the right to make choices. In this kingdom, it sounds as if everything belongs to Mswati if he wants it. That makes the “trespassing” charge more relevant since Dube is more Mswati’s property than a Queen.’
Meanwhile, King Mswati returned to Swaziland yesterday (4 August 2010) from his trip to Taiwan and we now wait to see what he is going to do with Dube and Mamba.
Watch this space.