A serious traffic accident claimed the lives of 38 girls who went for the reed dance party where women dance topless before the king. Twenty others were seriously injured in the accident that occurred on Friday night on a highway that connects Mbabane to Manzini, the two main cities. The victims were in the back of an open truck that crashed into a small car.
The King of Swaziland Mswati III spoke of a tragedy for the nation. Said His Majesty "I want to assure the families of the victims that the nation will support them to the end." The Reed Dance or "Umhlanga" is a festival involving tens of thousands of girls in the kingdom. They parade adorned with tassels in the national colors show-casing their chest.