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eSwatini chief bans alcohol after spear stabbings on elderly victims

Chief Gasa waNgwane Dlamini issued the ban in Qomntaba, one of the largest of 385 chiefdoms in eSwatini, which was until recently known as Swaziland.

Picture: EWN

MBABANE - A regional chief in the African kingdom of eSwatini has banned alcohol, his representative said Saturday, after drunken youths repeatedly attacked elderly people and in one incident sons killed their father.

Chief Gasa waNgwane Dlamini issued the ban in Qomntaba, one of the largest of 385 chiefdoms in eSwatini, which was until recently known as Swaziland.

According to the chief's representative, Fanalakhe Ndzinisa, young men stabbed elderly people with spears in a spate of attacks.

"The violent behaviour of drunk youths who spear and assault elderly people is the reason why the chief decided to ban alcohol," Ndzinisa told AFP.

"In this area we have a problem of a high rate of drinking among youths caused by high unemployment.

"This causes them to spend a lot of time drinking traditional concoctions and smoking dagga (marajuana)."

He said a man had been killed by his sons in one attack.

The land-locked southern African country is ruled by King Mswati III -- one of the world's last absolute monarchs.

Last year the king marked 50 years since his country's independence from British colonial rule by changing its name to eSwatini ("land of the Swazis").

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