Senteni Masango, the eighth wife of King Mswati III of Swaziland, has allegedly committed suicide after taking an overdose of a pain relief medicine, local media confirmed.
“The king’s wife is believed to have overdosed on about 40 amitriptyline capsules – widely used to block the long-term (chronic) pain of some rheumatic conditions and treat depression and related disorders,” online publication News24 reported.
She was found dead early on Friday morning, barely a week after burying her sister Nombuso Masango, whose funeral took place last Sunday at her parental home on the outskirts of central Swaziland.
Masango was buried on Sunday morning.
King Mswati III got married to the deceased in September 1990 when she was just 18 years old.
Last year, King Mswati III married his latest bride, Siphelele Mashwama, who was aged 19 years.
It is a tradition for the Swazi King to choose a wife every year.
In Swaziland, tens of thousands of unmarried and childless girls and women travel from the various chiefdoms to participate in the eight-day event during which the king selects a new bride, and would-be brides are publicly checked to ascertain their virginity.
King Mswati III was crowned in 1986 at the age of 18, succeeding his long-serving father King Sobhuza II, who died at the age of 82.
The king, now aged 50, is known as Ngweyama the lion.
Swaziland, according to UNICEF, has the highest HIV/AIDs prevalence rate in the world.
Some 210,000 Swazis were living with the HIV infection.
The kingdom with a population of 1.2 million, also ranks 112 out of 131 on the 2016 Global Hunger Index.
About 77 per cent of the Swazi population relies on subsistence farming for their livelihood.