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Questions over Mswati's birthday jet

Publish date: 08 May 2012
Issue Number: 477
Diary: Legalbrief Africa Old
Category: Swaziland

The luxury jet given to Swazi King Mswati III as a 'birthday present' last month appears to have been subjected to 'aircraft laundering' to conceal its origins, an investigation indicates.

According to a Mail & Guardian Online report, the investigation also strongly suggests that the price of the refitted aircraft is likely to have been much higher than the maximum $2m estimated by experts. Mswati's jet is an MD-87, a longer-range, more modern and considerably more expensive version of the first-generation MacDonnell Douglas DC-9, which ceased production in the early 1980s. Two weeks ago, Swazi Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini misleadingly announced that a DC-9 had been donated to Mswati by 'a development partner', the report notes. Full Mail & Guardian Online report

Meanwhile, Mswati's sixth wife has left the royal compound, the Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN) said yesterday. According to a report on the site Angela Dlamini had been unhappy for a long time and had thought of leaving for many years, a royal guard told SSN. She left the palace to visit her parents in Hhohho, northern Swaziland. From there, she disappeared and was believed to be staying with relatives in the Mkhuzweni region of the country, said Lukhele, according to the report. She is the third of the king's wives to leave the royal household, the report states. Full report on the site