Rustenburg – The government of Eswatini has dismissed as fake news reports that King Mswati III was critically ill and has been hospitalised.
African News Agency (ANA)
“Government has noted fake social media reports claiming His Majesty King Mswati III was critically ill with Covid-19. This is purely fake news. His Majesty is well and in good health,” acting government spokesperson Sabelo Dlamini said in a statement on the government’s Twitter account.
“Such fabrication perpetuated by elements intent on sowing confusion and panic is unacceptable and appalling. Government wishes to warn perpetrators of such misinformation that they are in breach of Covid-19 regulation and risk prosecution,” he said.
Swaziland News reported that Mswati III was in critical condition at a hospital, the publication cited high profile royal sources.
According to the online newspaper the King was admitted at Manzana Royal Hospital in a critical condition and struggling to breathe.
The publication reported that Lusendvo Fakudze, the Governor of Ludzidzini Palace when asked to confirm and clarify the matter on Thursday evening after senior members of the Umbutfo Eswatini Defense Force were seen maintaining high security at the hospital, avoided the direct questions and subsequently ask the nation to pray.
The Governor said the King would not be part of a Good Friday service expected to be attended by a minimum number of people, but maintained that “where-ever he is, he will also be praying”.
The newspaper reported in March that Mswati was in self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, after he had met a delegation from Taiwan that recently visited eSwatini to donate helicopters.
Two Taiwanese soldiers who formed part of that delegation were among 400 military personnel who were quarantined for coronavirus, Swaziland News reported, citing a Taiwan news report.
The soldiers were reportedly invited into a dinner with the King where they even shake hands one by one as they pose for pictures with him.