Swazi King Violates His Own Sex Ban
November 12, 2001
Swaziland's King Mswati III has been fined one cow for violating his tiny kingdom's chastity rite prohibiting girls under age 18 from having sex -- just two months after he himself reinstated the traditional ban. On Sunday, about 300 young women marched to the royal residence and laid down their symbolic chastity belts -- multicolored tasseled scarves -- in protest of the king's choice of a 17-year-old as his ninth wife. According to the custom, a man must pay a cow as a fine if he takes an underage wife. After the king paid the fine, the cow was speared, roasted and eaten by the young women in a festive gathering.
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