King Mswati III, Swaziland’s absolute monarch, is being dragged through the courts in a case where he is personally being sued for US$1.5 million damages for his alleged part in the downfall of a mining operation in his Swaziland. The case which will be played out in the British Virgin Islands will be the first time the King has personally been sued. In Swaziland it is not possible to bring any kind of legal action against the monarch.
This is one of the continuing stories from the past three months that has been reported by Swazi Media Commentary and is included in Swaziland: Striving for Freedom, Vol 19. This compilation covering the months June to September 2015 brings together posts that originally appeared on the Swazi Media Commentary website. It is available free of charge from the scribd dot com website.
A major tragedy took place in August when a number of children (the exact figure is disputed) were killed in a road accident while being transported to the King’s Reed Dance where they were expected to dance half-naked in front of him. The accident highlighted the way that the King’s poverty-stricken subjects are often treated like cattle while the King lives a lavish lifestyle. On that note, the King’s private jet continues to bring him grief as he tries to fight a court order compelling him to pay alleged unpaid debts.
The quarter ended on an optimistic note when it was reported that the Commonwealth had brokered a deal in which the King agreed to meet representatives of the kingdom’s civil society in which were dubbed by outsiders as ‘democracy talks’.
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