Lesotho Times - - Front Page - Tefo Tefo

MAKHOAKHO­ENG Prin­ci­pal Chief Tu­mane Thaabe Matela on Mon­day pleaded with High Court judge Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi to dis­solve his mar­riage on the grounds his wife had de­serted their mat­ri­mo­nial home.

The 36-year-old chief told Jus­tice Mon­aphathi his wife, ‘ Mathaabe, left their Makhoakho­eng home in 2008, and he had since failed to bring her back.

Sen­a­tor Matela ( pic­tured) told the court ac­cord­ing to Ba­sotho cus­tom, a prin­ci­pal chief’s wife should stay with her hus­band to fa­mil­iar­ize her­self with chief­tain­ship affairs. He de­nied fil­ing for di­vorce be­cause of his al­leged in­fi­delity and fail­ure to have a son with ‘Mathaabe.

Chief Matela told the court: “I was mar­ried to her in July 2007 and we have two daugh­ters, but be­fore they were born, we had a still­born child,” Sen­a­tor Matela told the court.

“My wife is a teacher at Motim­poso Pri­mary School in Maseru. Our mar­i­tal prob­lems started in 2008 when we were still stay­ing in Sea Point in Maseru. That was just be­fore I was in­au­gu­rated Prin­ci­pal Chief of Makhoakho­eng.”

His wife, the Sen­a­tor added, sub­se­quently went to their mar­i­tal home in Makhoakho­eng, in Butha-buthe district.

“How­ever, when I ar­rived in Makhoakho­eng, she had left the mat­ri­mo­nial home for Khu­bet­soana.

“I made sev­eral at­tempts to bring her home, but I failed. At first, she used to at­tend fam­ily func­tions al­though still liv­ing in Khu­bet­soana. How­ever, she has since stopped at­tend­ing them and I re­alised she had al­ready made-up her mind to desert the fam­ily,” he said.

But Sen­a­tor Matela made a sur­pris­ing rev­e­la­tion that he used to visit his wife in Khu­bet­soana, re­sult­ing in the birth of their se­cond daugh­ter in 2011.

Asked by Jus­tice Mon­aphathi if he would ac­cept his wife back should she de­cide to re­turn home, the youth­ful chief was em­phatic.

“No! I don’t need her any­more,” he de­clared. “I am now afraid of her be­cause I have learnt she has be­come a liar. I only ask this honourable court to dis­solve the mar­riage.”

Sen­a­tor Matela also re­futed al­le­ga­tions that he had an ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fair with one ‘Mamotebo Ma­jalle, hence his de­ci­sion to seek di­vorce.

The al­le­ga­tions were put to him by his wife’s lawyer, Ad­vo­cate Lerotholi, dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion.

Ad­vo­cate Lerotholi also said the Sen­a­tor’s wife did not vol­un­tar­ily leave the mat­ri­mo­nial home.

“I put it to you that the de­fen­dant was evicted from home so that you could stay freely with one ‘ Mamotebo Ma­jalle you had an ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fair with.

“The de­fen­dant also says you have al­ways been happy to­gether and you would fre­quently visit her in Khu­bet­soana to the ex­tent that you even en­joyed con­ju­gal rights to­gether,” Ad­vo­cate Lerotholi said.

In re­sponse, the Sen­a­tor de­nied the af­fair with Ma­jalle, in­sist­ing he only knew her as one of his old school­mates.

How­ever, he ad­mit­ted vis­it­ing his wife in Khu­bet­soana un­til 2011, but de­nied seek­ing di­vorce for fear he might not have a suc­ces­sor from his own house as his wife does not have a son.

“The main rea­son you want her out is she hasn’t given birth to a male child.

“You are un­der pres­sure be­cause you want a male child to in­herit your throne and part of the pres­sure comes from your mother,” Ad­vo­cate Lerotholi said.

How­ever, the Sen­a­tor de­nied the al­le­ga­tions, in­sist­ing he wanted the di­vorce sim­ply be­cause his wife had de­serted the mat­ri­mo­nial home.

Trial con­tin­ues.

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