21 November 2018

Swaziland: Campaign Growing for Arrest of Swaziland Prince Over Kidnapping and Rape Allegation

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(File photo).

A campaign is gaining momentum in Swaziland/Eswatini to have a member of the Royal Family arrested on a rape charge.

One newspaper reported the prince whose name has been widely circulated on social media tried to bribe the victim to drop the allegation by offering her a scholarship to leave the kingdom and study abroad.

It reported the prince and a friend allegedly kidnapped, drugged and raped a university student at a guest house on the outskirts of Manzini.

The Times Sunday newspaper in Swaziland (18 November 2018) said police had been informed of the alleged rape in early September 2018 but had made no arrest. The alleged rapist is a prince in the Royal Family that has King Mswati III, the absolute monarch of the kingdom, at its head.

Later, an online petition was launched calling on the chief of police to arrest the prince. More than 2,100 people had signed as of Wednesday morning (21 November 2018). Part of the petition reads, 'A prince and his friend are accused of allegedly kidnapping, drugging and raping a teenage UNESWA [University of Eswatini] student. She has reported the matter to the police and despite this, neither the prince nor his friend have been arrested. There are allegations that the victim has recently been harassed and intimidated by the perpetrators. The victim has also been offered an overseas scholarship if she drops the charges. Section 20 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Eswatini provides for equality before the all. The prince, like all other accused persons, must be arrested prosecuted and let the courts of law decide his fate. The law must not have eyes!'

Also, a group of people marched on the Manzini regional police headquarters calling for the arrest of the prince and his friend. The Swazi Observer reported on Wednesday (21 November 2018).

It said their concerns were 'fuelled by what they said was deafening silence over this incident which occurred two months ago. They further expressed sheer frustration with the fact that no one has been arrested after the alleged student's rape.'

In an interview in the Times of Swaziland (21 November 2018) the prince said he had nothing to hide and would cooperate with a police investigation.

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