Fast cars and af­fairs in this messy di­vorce

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - ZELDA VENTER

AN AL­LEGED love af­fair with an­other man, pe­nis en­large­ment pills and gels in his gym bag, ex­pen­sive cars and the spend­ing of more than R2mil­lion in two years (over and above his monthly in­come) all formed part of the scan­dalous ac­cu­sa­tions against a top govern­ment of­fi­cial that emerged dur­ing his di­vorce pro­ceed­ings in the high court in Pre­to­ria.

It also emerged that his wife was a big spender, squan­der­ing more than R1.2m in a year in which she re­ceived a pen­sion pay­out when she quit her job.

Act­ing Judge Avrille Maier-Fraw­ley kicked off her judg­ment by say­ing: “Be­cause of the in­ter­ests of the mi­nor child in­volved and be­cause al­le­ga­tions of a sala­cious na­ture were made by the par­ties, I deem it pru­dent not to re­fer to the par­ties by name.” She re­ferred to the ap­pli­cant as Mrs F and the de­fen­dant as Mr F.

Mrs F is de­mand­ing sub­stan­tial main­te­nance from her now for­mer hus­band, to whom she was mar­ried for 20 years. The main­te­nance is in re­spect of her­self and their teenage son.

She also de­manded that Mr F con­trib­ute R200 000 to­wards her le­gal costs in the var­i­ous courts. She said she was job­less and was forced to in­cur le­gal costs due to her hus­band’s stance. He wanted to re­move their son from his school and re­fused to pay to­wards her main­te­nance pend­ing their di­vorce.

Mrs F said her hus­band, a top of­fi­cial at the Depart­ment of Trade and In­dus­try, was un­faith­ful to her and that she had caught him “ca­ress­ing” an­other woman’s breasts dur­ing a party, which he blamed on hav­ing con­sumed too much al­co­hol.

His 51-year-old wife said she also found ho­tel re­ceipts and cell­phone money trans­fers from him to “a cer­tain gen­tle­man”, to whom the court re­ferred only as RH. Af­ter pe­rus­ing her hus­band’s bank state­ments, Mrs F dis­cov­ered he had bought ex­pen­sive clothes for RH. Be­tween Fe­bru­ary 2015 and June 2015 Mr F also made air­time and cash trans­fers to RH ex­ceed­ing R9 000.

Ac­cord­ing to her, he re­fused to talk about “his af­fair” and she sub­se­quently had a melt­down.

Her hus­band moved out of their lux­ury Pre­to­ria home in Oc­to­ber last year and moved into an up­mar­ket Midrand es­tate with RH.

Mr F, how­ever, told the court that he only “men­tored” RH and ve­he­mently de­nied that they had had an af­fair.

He, in turn, ac­cused Mrs F of in­fi­delity and said she had had a long-stand­ing af­fair with her for­mer boyfriend.

Mrs F said that when she met her hus­band at a Valen­tine’s party 20 years ago, she though she had met her prince on a white horse. The court heard that when the mar­riage fell apart, so did she.

Mr F, 51, mean­while told the court the mar­riage was doomed from day one as he could never have “a de­cent con­ver­sa­tion” with his wife. He ac­cused her of vi­o­lently at­tack­ing him on var­i­ous oc­ca­sions.

It emerged that their fi­nances were a mess, and by the time the court granted a di­vorce, they were both un­der debt re­view, with debt run­ning to more than R1.3m.

Mrs F ac­cused her hus­band of buy­ing sleek cars while they could not even af­ford to pay their elec­tric­ity bill. She also ac­cused him of forg­ing her sig­na­ture on a bank doc­u­ment to ob­tain a bond over their house, which he al­legedly squan­dered.

The judge ex­pressed her dis­may at how the two had mis­man­aged their fi­nances.

She said both were equally to blame for the di­vorce, and or­dered that Mr F pay main­te­nance of R4 403 a month for the next three years. There­after she had to start look­ing af­ter her­self.

“For as long as she does not work, she will re­main be­holden to a man who has demon­strated that he will not be held,” the judge said.

Mr F must, mean­while, also con­trib­ute R200 000 to­wards the le­gal costs.

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