Prince Mangaliso Logcogco, one of King Mswati III’s most trusted lieutenants, who was at the centre of a child-sex scandal, has died aged 67.
Prince Logcogco, described in Swaziland as a ‘senior prince’, was chair of the shady King’s Advisory Council, also known as Liqoqo, that operates on behalf of King Mswati, who rules Swaziland as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. He was also chair of Tibiyo TakaNgwane, the conglomerate that is in effect owned by the King.
Prince Logcogco had a long history as an anti-democrat. In 2012, he supported King Mswati when he overturned the Swazi Constitution and refused to sack his Prime Minister and Government after the House of Assembly had legitimately passed a vote of no confidence. According to the constitution, the King was obliged to dismiss the government, but he refused to do so.
In 2011, Prince Logcogco called for a state of emergency to be declared to tackle the on-going economic crisis in the kingdom. This would have been an act against the Swazi constitution and among other things would have allowed the state to impose wage cuts on public servants without consultation with trade unions.
To justify taking power, he claimed, incorrectly, that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had advised the government to declare the state of emergency.
In 2010, Prince Logcogco made international headlines when it was revealed he had fathered a child with a girl when she was aged 13 or 14. Calls from child protection agencies and other NGOs for him to be investigated fell on deaf ears.
At the time the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) asked the Swazi Police to investigate the prince over allegations that he committed statutory rape.
The SDC said the girl was legally a minor (under the age of 16) ‘who was in no position to legally consent to sex with a man old enough to be her grandfather’.
He also faced allegations that he sexually abused the four-year girl he had fathered.
In 2010, the Swaziland Solidarity Network reported, ‘Logcogco is a polygamist whose number of wives is unknown. He also has numerous children out of wedlock, many of whom he has no personal relationship with. Like his cousin, King Mswati, he still holds on to backward views of expressing his manhood through his virility. The existence of such attitudes amongst people who are role models to the country’s youth is disturbing and goes a long way towards explaining why the country currently has the highest [HIV] infection rate in the whole world.’
On Monday (2 June 2014), Tibiyo TakaNgwane Managing Director Themba Dlamini told the Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by the King, Swaziland had ‘lost a gallant prince who had left remarkable deeds behind’.
Prince Logcogco reportedly died at a hospital in South Africa.
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