The game's up for LaDube

Ndumiso Mamba, the Swazi justice minister fired last week when he was caught in bed with one of King Mswati III's queens, has been rearrested by authorities to prevent him fleeing the country with his considerable assets, according to Swazi opposition activists.

Mamba had transferred all his money from his Swaziland bank account to the account of a Ukraine-based company he owns, according to Lucky Lukhele, head of the South African chapter of the Swaziland Solidarity Network. "By the looks of things he is preparing to skip the country," Lukhele said on Friday.

Mamba was arrested on July 27 in his room in the Royal Villas hotel near the royal palace in Ezulwini with Mswati's 12th wife, the 22-year-old Nothando Dube. He was soon released - after a beating from the police, Swazi sources said.

But Lukhele said he had heard Mamba had later been rearrested. Other Swazi sources said he had signing rights on behalf of Mswati in joint business ventures, so the authorities were not going to let him flee the country.

Swazi Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini announced a week after Mamba and Dube were caught in bed, that Mamba had resigned as justice minister and as a senator. But Swazi insiders said Mamba was given a resignation letter to sign.

Dlamini did not directly explain the resignation and no Swazi media have reported the real reason, as they are barred from publishing royal scandals, but they all knew.

This week Sibusiso Mhlanga, a member of the banned Swaziland Youth Congress (Swayoco), was arrested in Manzini because a plain-clothes officer saw him request photocopies of a South African newspaper article about the affair.

LaDube was not the first of Mswati's queens to stray from the royal bed. In 2004 a young Soweto man, Lizo Shabangu, told a South Africa newspaper he had had an affair with Mswati's wife, Delisa Magwaza (LaMagwaza). She fled to Cape Town when the news broke and is now said to live in London.

The same year another of his wives, Putsoana Hwala (LaHwala), also fled the royal palace to South Africa amid reports of infidelity.

Because the royal authorities shroud any hint of royal misbehaviour in secrecy, ordinary Swazis do not know for sure what will happen to either Mamba or LaDube.

Some believe Mswati will not banish his unfaithful wife, as he is concerned about who will care for their children. This problem came to the fore when the other two queens fled the palace.

Asked to comment on the report, specifically that Mamba had been rearrested, Swazi government spokesperson Macanjana Motsa said "there's nothing of that sort".

She directed the enquiry to deputy police PRO Wendy Hleta who said: "we have never arrested him. We can't comment on what he is doing now," referring that question back to Motsa.

Asked specifically about reports Mamba had been arrested on July 27 in the hotel room, leading to his resignation, Hleta said; "we have no reports of the arrest of Mr Mamba."

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