By IOL and Zimbabwe Digital News
A DIRTY divorce and child maintenance legal battle is playing out between a Zimbabwean millionaire-cum-politician, and his South African wife in the North Gauteng High Court where his spouse is demanding R69 000 a month for maintenance.
Lawyers for the two parties appeared in court this week to discuss the couple’s access to their children and the wife’s demands. The businessman owns companies and assets in southern Africa, and is leader of FreeZim Congress Party.
He ran for President of Zimbabwe on July 31 last year, coming fourth after President Emmerson Mnangagwa, MDC’s Nelson Chamisa and Thokozani Khupe.
According to court documents his wife was demanding R69 000 a month maintenance for her and their three children, aged three, five and seven, after she was financially cut off during divorce proceedings.
She said R14 000 was for food, R6 000 for entertainment, R4 700 for a domestic worker. She needed R10 000 for clothing, beauty and haircare (R4 000), cellphone and landline (R1 000), data (R1 000), gym (R800), petrol (R3 000), magazines and periodicals (R500), parking (R300) and medical aid (R8 000).
The couple were married in community of property for about nine years and lived happily in their Joburg suburban home until their marriage started took a knock last year.
This led to the businessman proposing a divorce in December before moving into the cottage attached to their matrimonial home.
“Since the divorce started, there has been a lot of turmoil and hence has resulted in him cutting me off, which meant I can’t provide certain stuff for the children,” the wife told reporters.
The wife claimed that she was abused and stopped her from running a catering business from their home. During the divorce proceedings, the businessman was reportedly issued a domestic violence order, which stated that he must pay his wife R7 000 monthly as emergency monetary relief.
Took away the Mercedes BenzE280, cancelled DStv subscription
“Not only is the amount of R7 000 wholly inadequate for the maintenance of the minor children and me, but the applicant is also in breach of that order in that he has only made four payments, notwithstanding that he is an extremely wealthy man,” the wife said in court papers.
She wrote that her husband also stopped the DStv subscription and wi-fi connection, took away her Mercedes-Benz E280 and cut off the family’s medical aid in December last year.
“Since he cut us off it has been very tough. I had to seek relief from back home in KwaZulu-Natal, even though he was still buying a few stuff for the kids, but I have been a stay-at-home mom with the children.
“I know what type of food they eat and for them to be cut off, I’ve had to chip in and seek relief from my family,” she said.
The woman said she does not have any income or assets because her husband wanted her to be a housewife.
“The applicant (husband) used to give me R20 000 a month to run the household, which I used towards the children and myself. I spent R10 000 a month on groceries,” she wrote.
In his answering affidavit, the husband said his wife’s car was not taken from her but the vehicle was mechanically unsound and could not be driven.
He added that their home wi-fi was not necessary as their children did not use it. He also denied the physical abuse claims.
With regards to the medical aid, he said he removed himself and one of their children from their scheme in October 2017 before joining another one in October last year.
“I am responsible for the reasonable medical needs of the family and have never shirked this responsibility,” he wrote.
The Star attempted to contact the husband’s attorney, Kevin Schaafsma, but he was not available. The husband refused to comment.
“Speak to my lawyer, I am just trying to focus on looking after my children,” he said.
The wife’s attorney, Graeme Krawitz, said that an interim order was handed down yesterday pending the outcome of a report from the family advocate on custody and access arrangements.
“The judge made an order today (yesterday) that he must pay R30 000 a month maintenance, pending the outcome of the family advocate’s report and must give her back her car, put her children on medical aid and pay for the maids, car repairs and schooling,” said Krawitz. | @Chulu_M
This article was published by The Star newspaper.
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