This is the paedophiles who derives pleasure in teenage and under age girls as wives.
King Mswati III of Swaziland, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, has chosen an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant to be his 15th wife.
Sindiswa Dlamini was spotted by the 45-year-old monarch as she and thousands of other Swazi maidens danced bare-breasted before him at the annual Reed Dance last month.
She was presented, wearing the Swazi royal family’s trademark red feathers in her hair, to the general public at an additional Reed Dance in the southern provincial capital, Nhlangano, which was set up to broaden the king’s choice from his young female subjects.
“I wish to confirm we have a new liphovela (royal fiancée),” announced Hlangabeza Mdluli, who oversees the maidens who take part in the Reed Dance.
Miss Dlamini graduated from St Francis High School in the tiny country’s capital Mbabane last year and is a finalist in the Miss Cultural Heritage beauty pageant, whose winner will be announced on September 28.
Her selection comes at a time of renewed upheaval for Swaziland, which has the world’s highest Aids rate, and where 69 per cent of its population of 1.2 million live below the poverty line.
While many Swazis take immense pride in his growing family, there are concerns about the pressure his progeny places on the budget.
The polygamous king is said to use as much as £31.7m of Swaziland’s annual budget to sustain an estimated 24 children and 14 wives in 13 lavish palaces.
Three of the king’s wives have fled his kingdom in recent years, citing emotional and physical abuse.
Kenneth Kunene, leader of the banned Communist Party of Swaziland, condemned the news as “another burden to the Swazi masses, a further drain to the economy”.