Wed Dec 07 12:28:09 SAST 2016

Report angers Swazi queen

GABISILE NDEBELE | 2010-08-02 23:16:55.00 Comments

Swazi queen Nothando Dube is fuming over allegations in a Sunday newspaper that she had an affair with her husband's ally, Justice Minister Ndumiso Mamba.

King Mswati's 12th wife, Inkosikati LaDube, and Mamba were said to have been arrested after being caught in the act last Tuesday night at the plush Royal Villas hotel outside Mbabane.

Mamba was reportedly arrested at the Mafutseni police station outside Manzini, questioned on Wednesday and sent to Big Bend prison.

LaDube was reportedly held under 24-hour guard at the queen mother's palace at Ludzidzini to await the king's return on Wednesday from a trip to Taiwan.

A close friend told The Times yesterday LaDube was "not happy", and wanted to "dismiss the allegations as false. She is at home at her own palace, she is not under surveillance and at no point was she ever taken to the queen mother's palace," claimed the friend, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"She told me that the reporter who had written the story didn't even call her for comment, but she remembers being sent an SMS in May or June last year by an anonymous person saying: 'We know your shenanigans and we are going to expose you in South African Sunday papers'," the friend said.

"But when she called that person, the phone was off; then this story came up this Sunday."

LaDube, 22, caught King Mswati's eye when she was just 16 and participating in the Miss Teen Swaziland pageant.

She married him after the annual reed dance, in which she took part in August 2004, while she was a grade nine pupil at Mater Dorolosa High School in Mbabane.

She became Mswati's 12th wife in June the next year. They have three children, the last of whom was born last year. He has married two more women since marrying LaDube.

Her story follows similar scandals involving Mswati's queens. In 2004, his fifth and sixth wives, Putsoana Hwala and Delisa Magwaza, were embroiled in infidelity scandals, which led them to flee the king's palace that year.

Magwaza now lives in London and Hwala in Soweto.

But LaDube is determined to remain silent until she consults her husband tomorrow.

"She is not happy, and is overwhelmed by these rumours, but she said she was going to speak with King Mswati when he comes back on Wednesday," said her friend.

"She won't be able to speak to the press until then."

Officials at the Swaziland high commission were not available for comment.

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