But what actually happens during Incwala is clouded in secrecy and many of the rituals have in the past been described by religious leaders in the kingdom as ‘unGodly’ and ‘unChristian’.
Now, an insider’s account of what King Mswati really does during Incwala has been released.
It makes startling claims about King Mswati’s activities. He is said to take ‘muti’ (narcotics), and allows himself to be licked all over his body by a snake while drugged. In one part of the sacred ceremony King Mswati has sexual intercourse with a drugged bull; in another he publicly has sex with two of his wives.
The accounts of goings-on at Incwala are given by Sithembiso Simelane who says his regiment initiation name is Sukulwenkhosi. He is 38 years old, born at Lwandle, near Manzini, and now lives at Nkhaba in the Hhohho region with his wife and two daughters.
He was a member of the Inyatsi regiment for about 10 years and says he ‘got to see all the evil that takes place in the royal residencies and more especially at Ludzidzini royal residence (Lobamba)’.
Simelane writes, ‘I’m telling you this story so as to reveal the reality that people in Swaziland do not know, and to warn Swazis against supporting this Incwala ceremony blindly. Many people have been killed in Swaziland for fear that they were witches or wizards. It is so amazing then because royalty, more especially the monarch, continues to practice witchcraft and at a very high rate.
He goes on, ‘Now that the king has gone into seclusion, he will be stationed at Mantjolo (near Mbabane) where there is a spirit snake, known as LaMlambo, belonging to the Mnisi clan. There, he will have the snake lick him all over the body for many days. As the snake licks him, the belief is that it cleans him of all the troubles he faced this year so that he emerges a new and strong person the next year.’
Simelane says, ‘Then there will be the catching and killing of the bull event. There are two sessions for this one. The first one is held at three in the afternoon a day before Incwala lenkhulu. The king expects the boys to show their strength by killing the bull with bare hands. They quickly jump onto the bull each with the hope of being the first one to grab it so that the king notices them.
‘The secret here is that these young men have the hope that if the king notices their bravery, they will get promotions in their respective jobs, especially if they are in the security forces, or if they are unemployed, they hope to get jobs in the army or the police. So they beat the bull with fists until it is so tired that it cannot do anything. Mswati believes that this action signifies that his people, as they always try by all means to rise against him, will suddenly decide to abandon that action and be confused by his muti.
‘The bull is then taken into the Inhlambelo where Mswati awaits it, naked. The young men hold down the bull tight as the king inserts his erect royal penis into the bull’s anus. He has sex with it until just before he ejaculates.’
Simelane also says that at one point King Mswati ‘moves out to Indlunkhulu where two of his wives, LaMatsebula and LaMotsa, await him naked and he has sex with both of them for a short while but then ejaculates into his horn (hence the saying uchamela enkhomeni nakumuntfu). These two wives, LaMatsebula and laMotsa, only serve this purpose at the royal family. They are known as “Tesulelamsiti’’, which basically means it is where the king cleanses himself and removing all his dirt on. On the two women is where Mswati leaves his demonic evils so that they carry it whilst he remains clean.’