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SADC summit ends with invitation to Swazi Reed Dance

King Mswati has invited delegates to attend the annual Reed Dance ceremony in Swaziland.

FILE: King Mswati invited delegates to attend the annual reed dance, prompting some calls of delight from the audience. Picture: Sebabatso Mosamo/EWN.

BOTSWANA - Heads of state attending the two-day Southern African Development Communities' (SADC) Summit in Gaborone have received an open invitation from Swaziland's King Mswati III to visit his mountain kingdom.

In his closing speech to the summit, King Mswati invited delegates to attend the annual reed dance, prompting some calls of delight from the audience.

The ceremony involves scantily-clad young women dancing for him.

He also invited delegates to Swaziland's trade fair, which happens in August or September.

The group concluded their business several hours earlier than expected after discussions on industrialisation in the region, and the security situation in Lesotho.

Critics of Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe breathed a sigh of relief when he handed over the SADC chairmanship to Botswana's Ian Khama.

But they might judge the incoming chairman, King Mswati III more harshly.

The 47-year-old monarch has about 15 wives and is known for his excesses, while his people are reported to be starving.

Next year's SADC Summit will take place in Swaziland.