Today's Big Stories

How the Swazi reed dance continued, despite the death of girls in an accident

In Swaziland, there are reports of accusations that the government is hiding the true figures of a tragic accident on a stretch of highway near one of King Mswati III’s palaces.

It’s estimated that as many as 65 girls and women died when three trucks loaded with standing passengers collided on Friday night.They were en route to the annual reed dance during which the king chooses a new wife.

Yesterday, the official government newspaper, the Times of Swaziland and the police set the number of dead at 13. But advocacy group Swaziland Solidarity Network put that figure at a much higher number.

Mandy spoke to Lucky Lukhele of the Swaziland Solidarity Network, who strongly disapproved of the fact that the King still hosted the reed dance, despite the deaths of the girls.

We were expecting the King to cancel the reed dance. Yet some girls were still expected to dance as the reed dance continued.

Lucky Lukhele, Swaziland Solidarity Network

The entire reed dance should have been turned into a prayer or mourning session. There should have been a way to comfort families of the deceased and the injured should have been sent to hospitals with better capacity in South Africa.

Lucky Lukhele, Swaziland Solidarity Network

The King should have displayed a fatherly role in this regard.

Lucky Lukhele, Swaziland Solidarity Network

Earlier, Mandy asked on Twitter if listeners thought the reed dance should have continues after the death of the girls. Below was the reaction:


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