38 Virgins Killed In Bus Crash On Their Way To ‘Topless’ Dance Festival For King Of Swaziland

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Dozens of virgin girls and young women were killed as
they traveled to the traditional festival where the King
of Swaziland is know to pick a new bride from
thousands of topless, dancing virgins.
The tragic accident, which happened along the MR3
Highway, Mahhala, involved two trucks, which were
ferrying maidens and a sedan.
According to Times of Swaziland, at least 38 of them
died when the open-topped truck collided with another
vehicle, before being hit by a second truck as it
travelled along a motorway between the Swazi cities of
Mbabane and Manzini on Friday afternoon.
The girls were all taking part in the Swazi Reed Dance
Festival, an annual event which sees tens of thousands
of unmarried girls – or ‘maidens’ – perform for King
Mswati III.
Last year, he plucked a 19-year-old virgin from the
dancing maidens, who became his 14th wife.
According to witnesses, traffic police officers pulled-over
a Toyota van along the highway and that was when the
first truck failed to avoid hitting the car as it smashed
into the Toyota’s rear. This caused the pile up as the
second truck crashed onto the truck which also had the
excited maidens on board.
One of the maidens who survived the accident, in an
interview with the Swazi News, confirmed the account
of some of the witnesses.
“We were about 50 on board the first truck that
smashed into the Toyota van and was crashed from the
rear by the other truck which was driving behind ours,”
Siphelele Sigudla (18) said.
Rights group The Swaziland Solidarity Network (SSN)
has now called on the royal family to reconsider going
ahead with the festival, which sees about 40,000
participating in the eight-day ceremony.
The girls and young women sing and dance, often bare-
breasted, as they bring reeds to reinforce the windbreak
around the royal residence, a government website said.
‘We hope that the families of the deceased girls will hold
the royal family accountable for the deaths of their
children,’ the group said in a statement, as it alleged a
similar incident had been covered up previously.’The
least that the royal family can do at this moment is to
cancel this year’s reed dance.’
But the King has already sent his condolences.
‘We all have heard about the dark cloud that has
befallen the ‘imbali,” he said, using the Swati language
word for flower, used to refer to the groups of women
dancers.
He promised that the affected families would be
compensated.

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