London: A Swaziland government minister has been forced to resign amid rumours that he had an affair with one of the 14 wives of King Mswati III.
Ndumiso Mamba, the justice minister and childhood friend of Mswati, stepped down as the sex scandal rocked the tiny African kingdom.
Last week, a pro-democracy group, Swaziland Solidarity Network alleged that Mamba had been having an affair with 23-year-old Inkhosikati LaDube, the 12th wife of the king.
According to claims, LaDube wore an elaborate disguise so she could enjoy clandestine meetings with Mamba.
The queen is said to have dressed in military fatigues to leave the royal palace without arousing suspicion.
"For many months the inkhosikati (queen) would dress in an army uniform whenever the king was not around,” the Guardian quoted a palace source as telling the South African Press Association.
"She allegedly got into her room and changed into her uniform and walked straight to the gate and no one bothered to ask where was this soldier going. In no time a car was there to pick the ``officer`` up and whisked her to Royal Villas [a luxury hotel] about 10km west of the Lozitha palace,” added the source.
But Mamba was apparently caught and arrested in a police sting at the hotel, owned by 42-year-old Mswati.
He was reportedly detained in a police station, then prison, and faces possible expulsion from the country.
The queen was put under house arrest.
The affair has caused huge embarrassment to Africa`s last absolute monarchy after failed attempts to prevent it from leaking into the public domain.
Newspapers are tightly censored and the Times of Swaziland reported only: "Mamba resigned following certain allegations circulating in the country and internationally."
Banarbas Sibusiso Dlamini, the Swazi prime minister, said: "There is a story that has gone far which is currently being circulated … The story touches on the minister of justice and constitutional affairs, Ndumiso Mamba. Mamba had opted to resign as both senator and minister of justice … to allow the matter to be considered by the appropriate authorities."