Deputy min­is­ter treated me like an in­fe­rior be­ing, says ex-wife

Cape Times - - WORLD NEWS - Loy­iso Sidimba

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.

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