Organisers of the football tournament arranged to honour Swaziland’s autocratic monarch King Mswati III expect 20,000 spectators to attend from outside the kingdom.
They expect a further 10,000 of the King’s subjects from Swaziland to attend.
This was reported by the Swazi Observer, a newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati himself.
Tickets costing a minimum E250 (US$25) are presently on sale, even though more than seven in ten of the King’s 1.3 million subjects have incomes of less than US$2 per day. It would take most Swazi people more than a month to earn the price of a ticket.
The tournament called the King’s Super Cup is to be held on 18 July 2015. Two of South Africa’s top football sides, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have agreed to play in the one-day competition.
This is the first time the tournament has run and organisers say the competition is to honour the King.
In Swaziland King Mswati rules as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Political parties are banned from taking part in elections and pro-democracy campaigners are arrested under the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
A campaign is running to attempt to persuade the two South African clubs not to take part in the tournament because it would be seen as supporting the King who has been criticised globally for the poor human rights in his kingdom.
Campaigners say if the clubs took part in the tournament it would be a ‘mockery to the many activists that have died at the hands of the government and those who are presently languishing in jail for having dared to talk against the atrocities obtaining in Swaziland’.
The People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), in a statement said, ‘Almost 70 percent of Swazi citizens live under the poverty line of less than a dollar a day, while Mswati III’s preoccupation is buying private jets, luxury cars and touring the world with his throng of wives at the expense of the Swazi people.’
The tournament’s Public Relations Officer, Dumsani ‘DU’ Sibandze was reported by the Swazi Observer saying 10,000 tickets would be made available to local soccer fans while the rest would be sold to South Africa and neighbouring countries.
The tournament will take place at the Somhlolo National Stadium, which the newspaper reported would accommodate 30,000 spectators on the day.
It was previously reported that E5.8 million (US$580,000) had been taken from various government ministries to fund the tournament.
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