Cape Times E-dition

‘Reckless’ cheater loses out on wife’s pension


A HUSBAND who had “recklessly” spent money from the joint estate belonging to him and his wife, whom he is now divorcing, will forfeit his half of his soon-to-be ex-wife's Government Employees Pension Fund payout.

While the man is said to have been a cheating and abusive husband, the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria did not grant the forfeiture order based on that.

The judge found that the husband squandered his and his wife's joint assets during their marriage by transacting in clandestine, questionable business dealings.

From that fact alone, it would be a gross injustice to the wife to depreciate her pension fund any more than the patrimonial assets of the joint estate had been diminished and indebted by the husband, the court said.

The wife said she only later discovered that her husband was spending the money in their joint estate on all sorts of dealings.

The husband did not deny that he had spent the money on business dealings. But he told the court that he “does not discuss business with his wife”, something that has cost him dearly as the wife no longer has to share her pension with him.

The wife sketched a picture in court of a husband, who cheated on her with various partners.

When she was a month pregnant, she learnt that he was involved in extramarital affairs and had fathered a child with his mistress.

One of his mistresses has been harassing her by calling her on her cellphone and would emotionally abuse her and tell her to move out of the matrimonial home, the wife said.

She told the court that she subsequently learnt that he had two more children with other people, both babies born during their marriage.

When his legal counsel questioned him in court about his the extramarital affairs, the husband laughed.

Both parties worked in road transport for the government, but the husband resigned a few years ago to run his taxi business.

His wife said that when he resigned, he spent his entire pension payout on himself. The husband did not deny that but said that happened before they were married.

Apart from supporting their children, mainly by herself, and paying the bond on their home, the wife said she also assisted her husband financially in building his taxi empire.

Yet, he had conducted deals and obtained loans without informing her. Neither had he shared the taxi profits with her.

The court concluded that the husband recklessly diminished the patrimony of the joint estate by transacting in clandestine, questionable business dealings. Thus, he had to forfeit his share of the wife's pension.





African News Agency