London: One of the 13 wives of Swaziland’s King Mswati III has left the royal household after claiming he subjected her to physical and emotional abuse, it has been claimed.
Angela ‘LaGija’ Dlamini, the sixth wife of the 44-year-old polygamous King, reportedly abandoned her palace on Saturday after telling relatives she had endured years of suffering.
Pro-democracy campaigners claimed the move followed a period of extended difficulty between Dlamini and her husband, who is Africa’s last remaining absolute monarch and has 13 current wives.
“In what will not come as a shock, King Mswati’s sixth wife, Angela ‘Lagija’ Dlamini, has left the Swazi royal harem for good,” the Daily Mail quoted the Swaziland Solidarity Network as saying in a statement.
“She left the royal household last night, citing many years of emotional and physical abuse by her husband as the reason for her departure,” it stated.
The South Africa-based organisation, which campaigns for democracy in Swaziland, quoted an unnamed member of the royal family’s security team who claimed Dlamini was now staying with relatives after fleeing her husband.
“A royal guard revealed that Angela had been unhappy for a long time and had actually thought of leaving her husband for many years,” the statement said.
“She finally packed her bags for good last night, initially pretending to be visiting her parental home in Hhohho. From there she disappeared and is believed to be with relatives,” it added.
The alleged departure of Dlamini, who has a nine-year-old child with her husband, makes her the second of King Mswati’s wives to leave the troubled royal household in recent months.
Last November, it emerged that the polygamous leader had kicked his twelfth wife Nothando Dube, 23, out of her palace following claims she had cheated on him with a member of his government.
Dube later claimed her husband had held her as a prisoner for more than a year after she was allegedly caught in bed in August 2010 with his close friend Ndumiso Mamba, Swaziland’s then justice minister who was sacked over the scandal.
According to South Africa’s Times newspaper, Dlamini has now become the third of the monarch’s wives to walk out on him following claims of abuse.
The newspaper claimed former wife Delisa Magwaza, 30, was the first to leave and made her way to London via Cape Town.
She was reportedly followed by Putsoana Hwala, 30, who fled leaving behind her three children, the newspaper reported.
King Mswati’s alleged marital troubles come amid continuing difficulties for the monarch, who has been heavily criticised for his autocratic leadership of Swaziland.