“King David committed adultery with a woman named Bathsheba who consequently became pregnant. Upon learning of Bathsheba’s condition, David tried to cover his sin and eventually arranged for Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, to be killed in battle. After Uriah’s death, the Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David to confront him about his wicked deeds.”
2 Samuel 11:1-12:9
Sainiana Radrodro – the wife of the faithless Minister for Education – is known in her social circle and beyond as an extremely tough and resilient character. But even she is said to have snapped in rage when her husband, Aseri, tried to justify his adultery with Lynda Tabuya by quoting the story of King David in the Bible.
The former journalist and her family have had to put up with a great deal in the past few months. First there were the Grubsheet stories detailing her husband’s vicious attack on his former wife, the Prime Minister’s daughter, and how he had almost killed her.
Sainiana leapt to Aseri’s defence, writing to Grubsheeet to protest that I had exaggerated the story. The Prime Minister’s daughter had “only spent two weeks in hospital” recovering from the attack. And she accused me of selectively picking on her husband when others like Sitiveni Rabuka had skeletons in their closet that I was ignoring.
No matter how shocking the details of her husband’s conduct, I had to admire Sainiana for her loyalty to her husband and her determination to protect her family. Yet a historical attack on his former wife was one thing. For Sainiana, what came next was the realisation that the man she was defending was not reciprocating that loyalty.
Sainiana Radrodro discovered that Aseri was having an affair with his fellow cabinet minister, Lynda Tabuya. And all the resentment and frustration at her humiliation at his hands has erupted like a volcano, threatening not only the careers of the two lovers but the Coalition government in which they were once stars.
The scale of Aseri’s betrayal screams from the shocking content of the text messages published by FijiLeaks and Grubsheet yesteday, two of which we republish below. These were reportedly extracted from Aseri Radrodro’s mobile and have irreparably damaged both his reputation and that of Lynda Tabuya. Any hope that Aseri had of succeeding Viliame Gavoka as SODELPA leader has been shattered. And any hope that Lynda had of succeeding Sitiveni Rabuka has been similarly torpedoed.
Aseri Radrodro was already carrying the crippling burden of the Minister for Education in the Coalition being a domestic violence perpetrator who had almost killed the Prime Minister’s daughter. It is a sign of the moral turpitude of this government, along with that of the women’s movement in Fiji, that no-one objected to him being put in charge of the future of the nation’s children. But he has now also been exposed as an adulterer who has not only betrayed his wife but has been exposed in a text message telling his lover that he was finished with the marriage and planned to build a future with her.
It is the ultimate act of betrayal – a level of squalor that has merely confirmed Aseri Radrodro’s unfitness for public office. If SODELPA is mad enough to make him leader, this episode will haunt the Party forever, just as it will haunt Aseri himself long after he is forced from politics.
As for Lynda Tabuya, the damage of the revelations of this affair – the photos and text messages – also effectively spells the end of her career. Her carefully-crafted image as the nation’s chief crusader against pornography has been shattered by the pornographic photos she allegedly sent her lover. And her own text messages have left her deeply exposed, with their references to “brutal” sex that left her “unable to walk properly” and other references to illicit drug use.
Their conduct renders the position of both ministers untenable. But the Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has also been deeply compromised and exposed for having publicly cleared the couple of having an affair and then being proved wrong in equally humiliating fashion.
The stories that are emerging from insiders are extraordinary. When she suspected that Aseri and Lynda were having an affair, Sainiana Radrodro is said to have insisted on accompanying her husband to Melbourne in August with the parliamentary delegation that also included Pio Tikoduadua, the Home Affairs Minister in charge of national security. Did Tikoduadua know that the two cabinet ministers were sexually entangled? Because there is the obvious risk of blackmail and for national security to be compromised.
Despite Sainiana’s presence in the same room at Melbourne’s swank Windsor Hotel, there is clear evidence from the text messages that Aseri slipped out in the middle of the night for a sexual encounter with Lynda Tabuya in another part of the hotel. Sainiana has told friends that when he came back to bed later, Aseri claimed he had “gone out for some fresh air”. If this is true, the recklessness and deception is breathtaking.
Back in Suva, Sainiana Radrodro went on the warpath, reportedly storming into the Prime Minister’s Office demanding that action be taken against Lynda Tabuya to restrain her. Amid high drama and allegations of stalking, other accounts have it that Lynda Tabuya went to the Radrodro family home in tears pleading for Sainiana to forgive her. An email is also said to exist to this effect. So there is no question about the veracity of the FijiLeaks and Grubsheet stories and evidently hard evidence that can prove these allegations once and for all.
We already know that Aseri Radrodro is shameless because having beaten his former wife to within an inch of her life, he still feels entitled to be Minister for Education and frontrunner to succeed Bill Gavoka as SODELPA leader. But his reported “King David” defence to his wife – “he did the same in the Bible” – really takes the keke. It is small wonder that in a blaze of invective, Aseri reportedly got short shrift from Sainiana for that performance.
This entire saga has suddenly erupted into public view, though not yet in the mainstream media, to consume the reputations and careers of two Coalition ministers who had it all but have self-immolated in a conflagration entirely of their own making – fuelled by lust, self-entitlement, betrayal and lies.
The nation awaits the Prime Minister’s response.
(“Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned”. From a line in William Congreve’s play, The Mourning Bride (1697) meaning that there is no greater anger than that of a woman who has been rejected in love.)
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