The news of the sex scandal involving one of the wives of King Mswati III and a married Swazi cabinet minister has been reported around the world – but still in Swaziland the media are pretending it never happened.
But the Swazi people have access to newspapers in neighbouring South Africa that are covering the scandal, and also to the Internet where news organisations, bloggers, Tweeters and Facebookers across the globe have been reading about the ‘alleged’ liaison between Nothando Dube (also known as Inkhosikati LaDube), the king’s 12th wife and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister, Ndumiso Mamba.
Back in Swaziland, the Times of Swaziland, the kingdom’s only independent daily newspaper, ran a report about Mamba that was unconnected to the scandal. On its website edition, readers queued up to leave a comment on the story. But, the (self) censors have been heavily at work: of 15 comments left by readers as of early today (4 August 2010) only one was allowed to be published, about the pay of health workers in the kingdom.
What of the other 14? If I were a betting man (which I’m not) I’d put my shirt on them being about the amorous couple.
Other newspaper websites across the world have not been so reticent about publishing readers’ comments. Readers of the Daily Mail in the UK are having a laugh at the expense of King Mswati. ‘TWELFTH wife? Surely he can spare one’ just about sums up the mood.