Zimbabwean tycoon in messy divorce in SA

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A Zimbabwe-born millionaire-cum-politician has been held in contempt of court for owing about 1323 000 in child maintenance in a divorce settlement matter.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his children, appeared at the North Gauteng High Court on Monday where his dirty divorce and child maintenance legal battle between him and his estranged South African wife was heard.

The businessman’s spouse filed a contempt of court application against her husband after he failed to comply with a court order issued in October last year which ordered him to pay R30 000 a month in maintenance for her and their three minor children, among other things. He is R323 000 in arrears.

The couple were married in community of property for about nine years until the husband proposed a divorce in December 2018 before moving into a cottage attached to their matrimonial home in Joburg.

The lawyers of the two parties had a virtual sitting of North Gauteng High Court on Monday.

The tycoon owns several companies and assets in the southern African region and is a big political figure in his home country, where he was also a presidential candidate.

According to court documents seen by The Star, the court ordered the husband to pay R3o 000 a month in maintenance for his spouse and their children; pay all costs and expenses for the children’s education; reinstate the children and ex-wife on his medical aid scheme; make payments for all the children’s clothing, cellphones, pocket money and all birthday gifts; return the wife’s Mercedes-Benz together with all sets of keys; and make payments towards the wife’s legal costs which were about R3o 000.
The wife’s attorney, Graeme Krawitz, said in court that the businessman had not complied with the order.

“He has not delivered the car, which he could have done, he has not placed the children on medical aid, he has not paid contribution towards legal fees and has not paid one cent of maintenance apart from R7 000 in October,” Krawitz said.

The wife told The Star that she’s had to rely on her family members to aid her financially. “I pay for all transport, whatever food I use with donations from my family. I am absolutely destitute despite the fact that I am married in community of property to an extremely wealthy man,” she said.

The husband’s attorney, Kevin Schaafsma, said his client was not in complete default of the court order because his client did pay all costs and expenses for the children’s education, clothing, cellphones, pocket money and all birthday gifts. He said the vehicle was handed over to the wife but it did not work and was removed from the property.

Schaafsma added that his client did not comply with the payment of maintenance and reinstate the wife and children on the medical aid scheme because the businessman could not afford to pay because his company was under suspension.

“The bank statements before the court contend that he had an overdraft limit and he lives on the overdraft limit and he is not in a position to make payments,” he said.
The businessman’s attorney contested that the wife was destitute and said she had not tried to find employment to support herself.

“The applicant continues to believe that she can live a life of luxury without working, notwithstanding being a healthy 33-year-old woman with formal qualifications,” the husband wrote in his answering affidavit.

The judge in the matter indicated that he would hold the businessman in contempt for not fully complying with the previous order and gave him a 6o-day sentence suspended for five years.

Schaafsma confirmed to The Star that his client intended to appeal against the order. We will be taldng it on appeal,” he said. He added that his client asked for privacy. The wife said she was relieved about the outcome but was hoping her estranged husband would comply.

Source – The Star