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Wed Apr 23 17:27:05 SAST 2014

Swaziland queen flees to South Africa

Sapa-AFP | 14 July, 2012 09:03
Swaziland flag
Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

The sixth wife of Swaziland's King Mswati III has bought a house in South Africa and fled to the neighbouring country after leaving the monarch a few months ago, a close family source said.

Angela Dlamini, known as LaGija, sought refuge with South African family members in the upmarket Sun City tourist resort north of the capital Pretoria.

"She will be coming to Johannesburg to see the new house that she bought. This means she has officially left the royal family. She is too emotionally wrecked and mentally fatigued after years of abuse from the royal family members," a source close to the queen told AFP.

LaGija fled the royal palace in May this year claiming years of physical and emotional abuse by her husband, but remained with family inside the mountain kingdom.

"For her safety it was felt that she must go to South Africa because we don't trust what they are planning to do to her here," the source said.

Mswati has 13 wives, and LaGija is the third to have left him in recent years.

The first was Queen LaHwala, who left in early 2000. Queen LaMagwaza was the next to pack her bags a few years later. Both are thought to live outside the country.

Before the fallout with LaGija, local media reported that another of the king's wives, Nothando Dube, had complained of abuse and torture at his soldiers' hands after she was caught in bed with the monarch's friend and justice minister Ndumiso Mamba.

Scandal erupted when Mswati kidnapped and married the 16-year-old Dube, also known as LaDube, in 2005.

She allegedly was kept under house arrest after trying to flee following her liaison, but rules have recently been relaxed.

Mamba was fired from the cabinet.

The king faces increasing criticism over his lavish lifestyle while 60 percent of his subjects live on less than $2 a day, and his refusal to implement democratic reforms.

Swaziland is landlocked on all sides by South Africa and has a population of about 1.3 million.

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Wed Apr 23 17:27:05 SAST 2014 ::