The King of Swaziland has abandoned a four-year campaign to enforce chastity among teenagers following criticism of his own behaviour and with figures showing that the policy has completely failed to stop the spread of HIV in the country.
The announcement in the kingdom's papers yesterday coincided with the release of government statistics revealing nearly a third of Swazi 15- to 19-year-olds carry the virus that causes Aids, the scourge King Mswati III had hoped to combat with his appeals to girls to remain virgins.
Alarmed at the high rate of HIV infection, Mswati in 2001 reinstated for five years the "unchwasho" rite, banning sexual relations for unmarried girls younger than 18.
And then we find out how many wives and children he has:
The 36-year-old king has 12 wives, one bride-to-be and 27 children. His late father, King Sobhuza II, who led the country to independence in 1968, had more than 70 wives when he died.