Friday 24 November 2017

Swaziland king's twelfth wife thrown out of palace

Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg

THE 12th wife of Swaziland's autocratic king, who allegedly had an affair with his justice minister, has been thrown out of the royal palace without her children.

Inkhosikati LaDube (23) who married King Mswati III at the age of 16, says she has been kept under virtual house arrest in her official residence since she and Ndumiso Mamba were caught in a hotel in Mbabane, the capital, last year.

She told a South African newspaper that after more than a year in captivity, she was ordered "immediately to leave the palace" on November 12.

It followed a row with a security guard who blocked her from taking the youngest of her three children, a two-year-old boy, to hospital after he injured himself while playing, she said.

"He threatened to hit me, saying I am not going anywhere with my child, who was bleeding from a deep wound," she said.

An altercation ensued, she said, and she was "physically prevented" from leaving the palace. "I had to protect myself, so I pepper-sprayed him in the eyes," she said.

The matter was reported to the queen mother, who shares power with her son and is known as the 'Indlovukazi', or 'Great She-Elephant'. She is said to have decided that Mrs LaDube had been disrespectful and should be evicted from the royal household.

Mrs LaDube said she was forced to leave behind her children and her belongings. The king, who is 43 and has 23 children by 13 wives, is on his annual period of seclusion. He has not seen Mrs LaDube for a year and, she alleges, knows almost nothing about the couple's children.

Swaziland Solidarity Network, a South Africa-based umbrella organisation of pro-democracy organisations, lambasted the king for his wife's "brutal eviction".

"The ill-treatment that LaDube has endured and the subsequent separation from her children is a very inhumane act," Lucky Lukhele, a spokesman, said. He said the king had "never forgiven" Mrs LaDube for embarrassing him with her alleged affair.

"Mswati has never again set foot in her house after the scandal. He further instructed her bodyguards to deliberately frustrate her to the point where she could no longer take it and then hopefully leave," he said. He added that without their mother, Mrs LaDube's children were at risk of being "terribly neglected" in the royal household.

King Mswati was educated at Sherborne School in Dorset and was a guest at the royal wedding of William and Kate earlier this year. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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