Ramaphosa to host King Mswati

By Zukile Majova

President Cyril Ramaphosa will host Eswatini ruler King Mswati III at Mahlamba Ndlopfu, the president’s official residence in Pretoria.

“The visit follows a courtesy visit by President Cyril Ramaphosa to His Majesty King Mswati III in Lozitha, Eswatini, on Wednesday, 3 April 2024,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya.

“South Africa and Eswatini share strong historical bonds as well as mutually beneficial political and trade ties.”

South Africa has been working on improving relations with the kingdoms around its borders including the Kingdom of Lesotho, ruled by King Letsie III.

The two countries are involved in the R40-billion Lesotho Highlands Water Project to supply over 400 million cubic metres of water annually to the Vaal Dam.

King Mswati on the other hand has become a powerful player in Southern African traditional authorities as he is the uncle of King Misuzulu kaZwelithini.

King Misuzulu leads the over 15 million-strong Zulu nation in South Africa, concentrated in the highly contested province of KwaZulu-Natal.

His Majesty is the son of the late Regent Queen Mantfombi Dlamini, the daughter of the revered King Sobhuza and sister of the reigning iNgwenyana (Head of Monarch) of the Kingdom of Eswatini.

King Mswati’s other nephew, King Mbusi Mahlangu, has been declared the rightful ruler of the Amandebele people. 

With a personal fortune estimated at more than R3-billion, King Mswati is the third-richest monarch in Africa, with only King Mohammed VI of Morocco (R81-billion) and King Frederick Obateru Akinrutan of Nigeria (R4.2-billion) ahead of him.

The Ramaphosa government has been pushing for the ruler of Eswatini to introduce more democratic governance institutions in his country and more tolerance for opposition political parties.

The Kingdom of Eswatini is also an indirect player in South African politics with growing reports that some of the founders of the Umkhonto Wesizwe party hail from Swaziland and have businesses in KZN.

One of former president and MK leader Jacob Zuma’s closest friends, businessman Philani PG Mavundla, who slaughtered 20 cattle to celebrate Zuma’s ascendancy to the presidency, is of the Bhembe clan of Eswatini.

Zuma is also seen as having a cordial relationship with King Mswati, even though he is no longer president of South Africa and is working to dethrone the ruling ANC.

Pictured above: King Mswati III. 

Image source: X


Recent articles