In the aftermath of all this who thinks about what would hap­pen to the fam­i­lies of the school­boy, the woman and the hus­band? What about the school­boy’s sib­lings; the off­spring of the cou­ple, the com­mu­ni­ties?

Swazi Observer - - FEATURES & OPINION -

WITHIN a space of two weeks one man grue­somely killed his wife by be­head­ing her be­fore hid­ing her head un­der rocks.

Now it is an irate hus­band who killed a school­boy after find­ing him naked ap­par­ently hav­ing strayed into the sa­cred and for­bid­den ter­ri­to­ries of his mar­i­tal sanc­tu­ary, the con­ju­gal fit­tings.

In both in­stances th­ese are noth­ing but crimes of pas­sion or could we sim­ply side with the per­pe­tra­tors by con­clud­ing, al­beit this early, that enough is enough with the cheats, it is time to kill the mangy dog?

A crime of pas­sion (French:crime pas­sion­nel), in pop­u­lar us­age, refers to a vi­o­lent crime, es­pe­cially homi­cide, in which the per­pe­tra­tor com­mits the act against some­one be­cause of sud­den strong im­pulse such as sud­den rage rather than as a pre­med­i­tated crime.

The courts have the mo­nop­oly to de­ter­mine the cir­cum­stance in which th­ese heinous killings hap­pened and also to make the rel­e­vant con­clu­sions whether th­ese are ir­ra­tional, ra­tio­nal or le­gal, who cares? The bot­tom line is that two young lives have been taken by other hu­man be­ings in a fit of anger.

Those ac­cused of the killings are male adults. Hav­ing asked around I dis­cov­ered that women, on aver­age, claim that they would have acted dif­fer­ently un­der the cir­cum­stances, such as scream­ing or car­ry­ing both arms on top of their head.


But that would not be long be­fore the tem­per­a­tures of anger rise to be­yond boil­ing point, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!

There have been sim­i­lar sto­ries in the Swazi me­dia, oth­ers have not been told. Back in the 90s at Mur­ray Camps a young Romeo took in his other lover after her steady girl­friend de­cided to visit her fam­ily. How­ever she missed the bus and re­turned to find her boyfriend in the lov­ing arms of an­other woman.

The Romeo rea­soned with her lover that she should al­low the stranger woman to spend the night since it was al­ready late and it be­ing a high crime area she would sim­ply leave in the morn­ing. He de­cided to sleep in the mid­dle while his lovers took the sides, one would have an­tic­i­pated a three­some but there was noth­ing of the sort. In the mid­dle of the night the steady girl­friend woke up to boil cook­ing oil and spilled it on the faces of the two.

Prior to that a mar­ried man was in­formed of his wife’s in­fi­delity and de­cided to catch the two in the act. When he broke the door open he im­me­di­ately fired a shot but missed the two. He was also armed with a very sharp knife, de­cided that he was end­ing the drama once and for­ever. He or­dered his wife to cut off his lover’s man­hood or the bul­let would go right through her head, she set­tled for the for­mer!

The other case was the (in) fa­mous ‘stuck-on-you’ that in­volved a Manzini man who worked for the su­gar plan­ta­tions in the Lubombo re­gion whereby the hus­band used black magic so that his mem­ber got stuck as he com­mit­ted adul­tery and there­fore he could not with­draw the man­hood.

The pair was taken be­fore a na­tional court pres­i­dent where it was ruled that the hus­band be called to free them es­pe­cially be­cause such magic spells had been banned in Swazi­land. The hus­band on ar­rival sim­ply said ‘ay­isuke’

this be­ing a shout to send a stray­ing dog away; that is how the two were freed.

Then at Nh­lam­beni a cop killed in cold blood his wife after find­ing her with a busi­ness­man on his bed but sur­pris­ingly this cop walked.

About half a decade ago at Hlane marula fes­ti­val a Form Five pupil was caught by war­riors with a woman old enough to be his mother. He had made her cling to a tree trunk as he came from be­hind obliv­i­ous of all that hap­pened around them, the pair got a hid­ing and a hu­mil­i­a­tion of a life­time, we do not know to this day how that case ended.

In the aftermath of all this who thinks about what would hap­pen to the fam­i­lies of the school­boy, the woman and the hus­band? What about the school­boy’s sib­lings; the off­spring of the cou­ple, the com­mu­ni­ties?

Luis Bernardo Hon­wana, writ­ing in 1964 in his cel­e­brated lit­er­ary work ‘we killed mangy dog” could have been writ­ing about an imag­i­nary stray dog: Mangy-Dog looked at me when I turned to him.

His eyes had no shine in them at all but they were enor­mous and full of tears that trick­led down his muz­zle.

They fright­ened me, those eyes, so big, look­ing at me like some­one ask­ing for some­thing without want­ing to say it.


When I looked at them I felt a weight much heav­ier than when I had the rope all trem­bling from be­ing so stretched with the creak­ing of bones try­ing to es­cape from my hands, and with the whines that came out in squeaks, smoth­ered in his closed mouth.

Love­more Ranga Mataire wrote three years ago that the mangy dog story was cen­tred on a stray dog af­flicted by dis­ease, help­less, and al­most dy­ing. He be­gins to iden­tify with the dog, which like him is also an out­cast among other dogs, and he de­vel­ops com­pas­sion and sym­pa­thy for the mutt.

Ginho and his group are ma­nip­u­lated by Sen­hor Duarte into killing the dog and liken the act as a kind of hunt­ing game. Ginho is cho­sen to shoot the dog.

Even though he is emo­tion­ally at­tached to the dog, the pres­sure from other boys forces him to elim­i­nate the dog for the sake of be­ing ac­cepted.

After many pleas with the other chil­dren, he is un­suc­cess­ful in try­ing to save the dog. The story ends with a guilty con­fes­sion de­spite his re­luc­tance to par­tic­i­pate in the crime.

The “Mangy Dog” may be likened to a sick deca­dent colo­nial sys­tem that must be de­stroyed in or­der to make way for a new re­al­ity of ex­is­tence, free of dis­crim­i­na­tion and racism.

“Mangy Dog” is shot to death with firearms in a sym­bol­i­cally point­ing to the way Mozam­bique was to gain its in­de­pen­dence through the use of mil­i­tary force.

Come to think of it, could this be, 2 000 years after the Chris­tian civil­i­sa­tion, the ideal way to deal with in­fi­delity? To what ex­tent must we be ex­pected to ex­er­cise self-re­straint or what is ex­pected of us if we lose it? What hap­pens when we let loose of our morals es­pe­cially where in­ex­pe­ri­enced mi­nors are in­volved?

No doubt some­thing has gone ter­ri­bly wrong, where are our in­sti­tu­tions of cul­ture, the church in par­tic­u­lar?


What has hap­pened to the fam­ily fi­bre and the up bring­ing of the girl and boy child in the African set­ting?

Are we so busy in pur­suit of ma­te­rial sat­is­fac­tion such as il­licit sex we can no longer pro­tect our own through de­cent life ed­u­ca­tion. I know why, our in­sti­tu­tions, with the church at the core, are more par­tic­u­lar about amass­ing other forms of wealth, ma­te­rial ac­qui­si­tions, dis­re­gard­ing the worth of the hu­man be­ing which is­men­tal sta­bil­ity trans­lat­ing to moral cor­rect­ness.

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