Durban: Swaziland`s polygamous King Mswati`s
wife number 12 has claimed that she is living like a prisoner
in her private palace, since the landlocked African nation`s
justice minister was found hiding in her hotel room last year.
Queen Nothando Dube has said she is under "house arrest";
royal guards have banned her from contact with the King or her
own family and they even assault her if she tries to leave the
small palace where she stays with her three children.
"Things have been bad and now they are worse. I really,
really want out and I can`t, he (the King) is not letting me
go. It`s like I am in prison; I`m under 24-hour surveillance,"
the 23-year-old Queen told the `Mail & Guardian` newspaper.
She added: "My friends and family have been banned from
seeing me and I really feel like I don`t want to be here any
more because I feel like I am in jail. This is not healthy and
I can`t live like this forever.
"Every time I want to go somewhere the security guards
become aggressive with me. It happens about once a week, when
I try to go somewhere. They literally hit me, they kick and
they punch me. I can`t even see a doctor. I`m also not allowed
to see him (the King)."
43-year-old King Mswati III, who has 23 children, married
his 12th wife when she was just 16. They met in 2004 when the
Queen attended a birthday party he hosted for one of his kids.
The Queen said: "The king brought me here at the tender
age of 16 and not only promised to look after me but to also
look out for me. I feel severely betrayed and let down. I am
being abused emotionally and I have suffered brutally. I don`t
see any future with him any more."
The country`s then justice minister, Ndumiso Mamba,
was arrested after being discovered cowering in the base unit
of a bed in a hotelroom used by the Queen outside the capital
Mbabane last July.