Deputy minister treated me like an inferior being, says ex-wife
A DEPUTY minister is embroiled in a bitter divorce battle with his ex-wife in a case that could set a precedent for South African women.
The 47-year-old unemployed mother of two adult children has revealed in an explosive affidavit filed at the Constitutional Court that her ex-husband did not regard her as an equal, reduced her to an inferior being, no more than a child and not equal to a man.
“He set the (bad) example of how men should treat women in the area of the former Transkei,” states the ex-wife’s affidavit.
“The respondent (the deputy minister) fathered children outside our marriage, which is true. The respondent… states that he has no knowledge of these children, but even if it had been true, this could never constitute a ground for divorce,” she said.
The divorce was finalised at an Eastern Cape regional court in 2014 in the ex-wife’s absence and without her having any knowledge that the matter would go before a judge, according to her papers.
“In finalising the divorce without my knowledge I was prejudiced in that my version of events was never placed before court and my claim for maintenance was never considered,” she said.
The deputy minister later appealed to the Eastern Cape High Court which declared the marriage was held in community of property.
The ex-wife said that during the course of their civil marriage, the deputy minister illegally entered into a customary marriage with a younger woman.
The deputy minister has refused to admit or deny this allegation. However, during a subsequent investigation by the Office of the Family Advocate, he apparently admitted that he illegally married his new wife and provided details.