Observer on Saturday - - News - By Bodwa Mbingo

All eyes will be on the late for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Sibu­siso Dlamini’s ex-wife Pas­tor Joy Maziya, whether she will at­tend her for­mer hus­band’s fu­neral next Sat­ur­day.

That is be­cause to be able to make it to the fu­neral she would have to fly a num­ber of miles to come to the coun­try and join the Dlamini fam­ily, friends and rel­a­tives and the en­tire Eswatini na­tion in lay­ing him to his fi­nal rest­ing place.

The for­mer PM will be laid to rest at his parental home in Ndzin­geni and will be given a state fu­neral fol­low­ing the im­por­tant role he played in the coun­try’s pol­i­tics and the de­vel­op­ment of the King­dom. He passed on peace­fully at Mkhiwa Clinic last Fri­day af­ter he suc­cumbed to a long bat­tle with prostate can­cer.

The Ob­server on Sat­ur­day can re­veal that the PM’s ex-wife is now based in the United King­dom (UK) hav­ing re­set­tled to that coun­try last year. This was af­ter a bit­ter di­vorce be­tween the two, who had been mar­ried for ex­actly two years, seven months and 16 days.

Pas­tor Joy’s new home­stead that con­sists of a big house that was al­ready roofed at Ezul­wini re­mains un­fin­ished and shows that it has been aban­doned for over a year now with over­grown veg­e­ta­tion now show­ing.

Res­i­dents of Ezul­wini con­firmed to the pub­li­ca­tion that the Pas­tor had re­lo­cated to the UK.

The for­mer PM and his then wife of­fi­cially got di­vorced in Novem­ber 2016. The di­vorce came ex­actly af­ter two years, seven months and 16 days the two for­mer love­birds had tied the knot in a glam­orous wed­ding held at the Mavuso Trade Cen­tre.

The fi­nal di­vorce de­cree was is­sued by the Chief Jus­tice Bheki Mapha­lala in Novem­ber 2016 at the High Court where the Prime Min­is­ter was rep­re­sented by Ad­vo­cate Ma­griet Van Der Walt, in­structed by his lawyer Musa Dlamini from ML Dlamini At­tor­neys.

The main ground for di­vorce was that Maziya had ma­li­ciously de­serted her hus­band and that she was vi­o­lent.

The di­vorce pro­ceed­ings were filed at the High Court on April 1, 2016 and the court file was se­curely kept in the chief jus­tice’s of­fice and the case kept un­der wraps.

The prime min­is­ter, in his di­vorce pa­pers, had also ap­plied for an or­der di­rect­ing Maziya to re­store con­ju­gal rights fail­ing, which a fi­nal di­vorce de­cree is granted. He had also ap­plied for an or­der di­rect­ing that his wife should for­feit all mar­i­tal ben­e­fits ac­crued dur­ing the sub­sis­tence of the mar­riage.

The par­ties had been ex­chang­ing cor­re­spon­dences via their le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives with Maziya chang­ing lawyers from Ro­drigues At­tor­neys to Jus­tice Mavuso and Com­pany. They had also been ne­go­ti­at­ing a set­tle­ment.

It was not es­tab­lished whether the chief jus­tice is­sued an or­der di­rect­ing that the wife for­feits all her mar­i­tal ben­e­fits ac­crued in the two years of their mar­riage. The two had signed an out of com­mu­nity of prop­erty mar­riage con­tract.

Prior to the prime min­is­ter in­sti­tut­ing di­vorce pro­ceed­ings, they had been stay­ing separately with Maziya re­sid­ing at her parental home in Nka­manzi hav­ing re­turned with most of her lug­gage. A state­ment from the prime min­is­ter’s of­fice, then, con­firmed that the di­vorce or­der was granted in the head of gov­ern­ment’s favour.

“On the 1st Novem­ber 2016, the hon­ourable Chief Jus­tice MCB Mapha­lala granted a fi­nal de­cree of di­vorce in the mat­ter be­tween his Ex­cel­lency the Right Hon­ourable Barn­abas Sibu­siso Dlamini and Mrs Joy Non­jab­ulo Glad­ness Dlamini (nee Maziya).”

When sought for com­ment, Maziya’s lawyer Jus­tice Mavuso also con­firmed that the di­vorce was is­sued.

He said Maziya was no longer op­pos­ing the di­vorce. The cou­ple had tied the knot in a glam­orous wed­ding cer­e­mony at­tended by about 1 500 peo­ple at the main au­di­to­rium of the Mavuso In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre.

The prime min­is­ter wel­comed his then bride in style as he walked down the aisle with Elvis Pres­ley’s song ti­tled ‘I can’t help fall­ing in love with you’. She came into the arena in Mthunzi Namba’s song, ‘The love of my life’.

HOME-COM­ING?: Pas­tor Joy Maziya.

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