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Last Updated: Monday, 30 May, 2005, 09:27 GMT 10:27 UK
Swazi king marries eleventh wife
King Mswati III
King Mswati has been criticised for his lavish lifestyle
King Mswati III, ruler of the tiny southern African kingdom of Swaziland, has married his eleventh wife.

Noliqwa Ntentesa, 21, was selected by the king three years ago at an annual ceremonial dance.

She is pregnant with his 25th child. Two more young women have already been lined up to marry the king.

Africa's last absolute monarch has been criticised for having so many wives in a country with one of the world's highest rates of HIV infection.

Lavish lifestyle

He owns a fleet of luxury cars, including a $500,000 (260,000) Maybach, and has spent millions of dollars refurbishing palaces for his wives.

The 37-year-old's lavish lifestyle is at odds with the living conditions of his people, most of whom live in poverty.

The unemployment rate stands at 40% while nearly 70% of the country's one million inhabitants live on less than $1 a day and nearly 40% of adults are HIV positive.

Noliqwa Ntentesa, who was forced to give up high school when she was picked three years ago, was smeared in traditional red ochre and married in a secret wedding service held last week at a royal palace.

King Mswati's late father, King Sobhuza II, who led the country to independence in 1968, had more than 70 wives when he died in 1982.

Ten BMWs for Swazi king's wives
14 Feb 05 |  Africa
Profile: Troubled King Mswati
04 Dec 01 |  Africa
Country profile: Swaziland
18 May 05 |  Country profiles

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