One of the wives of the polygamous king of Swaziland has been found dead at his private palace after reportedly taking her own life.
The body of Senteni Masango, 37, was discovered on Friday afternoon amid reports she had been suffering from depression having not been allowed to attend her sister's funeral.
Queen LaMasango, as she was known after her marriage, was one of 15 wives of King Mswati III of Swaziland - Africa’s last absolute monarch. She married the king back in 2000.
She married the king at the age of 18, after being specially selected from a dance ceremony. The couple had two children together.
According to sources close to the palace, the queen was said to have struggled with life at the palace.
She resorted to plastic surgery and painting in her spare time to relieve the misery of her royal life.
However, a source close to the king said “The king finds her death very painful. They were a happy couple.”
In 2002 Amnesty International accused the king and his agents of “violating the human rights” of Zena Mahlangu, another 18-year-old who was snatched from school and forced into marriage.
He married his most recent wife, Siphelele Mashwama, 19, who is the daughter of one of his cabinet ministers, last September.
Two of his wives have left him. Putsoana Hwala and Delisa Magwaza left the royal house in 2004. Magwaza fled the king’s palace for London.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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