Swazi gov denies divorce ban reports

The government of Swaziland has rubbished claims that King Mswati III told religious leaders that divorce is against Swazi culture

Swazi government spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini told the SABC on Thursday that the story had been taken out of context. He said King Mswati III had simply been trying to emphasise the importance of marriage. The king was “merely making a call for the nation to engage in conversation instead of resorting to divorce,” Dlamini was quoted saying.

“There is no law banning divorce in Swaziland. When the King meets people, he usually talks about issues of national interest for families especially, and for the strengthening of Swazi culture. Swazi culture is one of those cultures which seek for families to be united,” he said.

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This comes after media reports claimed that King Mswati III had told religious leaders over the Easter weekend that divorce was against Swazi culture.

According to eNCA, the Swazi monarch instructed religious leaders to inform citizens that “there will be no pulling out from marriage once it takes place”.

“His directive comes as the kingdom’s Attorney-General is drafting a marriage bill, which will make it easier to divorce, particularly for women,” said Dlamini.

In 2013, reports claimed that Swazi MPs were banned from divorcing their spouses and that those who were in the process of divorce were told to postpone until their terms of office ended.