Minister, NPA must pay mom's maintenance, court rules

2014-05-28 05:00
(Picture: <a href=\\\\>Shutterstock</a>)

(Picture: Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - The justice minister and the National Prosecuting Authority must stand in for the maintenance an Mpumalanga mother lost, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled on Tuesday.

Acting Judge Jan Hiemstra granted the order to Annah Ouma Mtimunye. The minister, the NPA and her former husband Michael Matlala must pay her R24 500 plus interest.

Mtimunye lost maintenance because of the negligent and unlawful conduct of maintenance officials at the Mdutjana Magistrate's Court.

Mtimunye, a hawker of KwaNdebele in Mpumalanga, obtained a court order after her divorce in 1990 that Matlala pays maintenance for their two children.

She alleged maintenance officers at the Mdutjana Magistrate's Court in Siyabuswa had negligently and unlawfully failed to take appropriate steps in terms of the Maintenance Act to enforce the payment of arrears in maintenance accumulated over a period of three years.

Her husband, a former primary school teacher, had failed to pay regular maintenance from the start. He resigned from his job in 2006 and promptly stopped paying after she obtained garnishee orders against his salary to ensure regular payments.

She reported the arrears to a maintenance inspector and asked the senior magistrate at the court to instruct the officer handling her case to ensure that her ex-husband's pension payout was attached because she feared he would squander his money.

She was wrongly advised that the Maintenance Court had no authority to attach her former husband's pension benefits.

A maintenance enquiry was initiated, but dropped when criminal proceedings were instituted against Matlala. The case was withdrawn against him because he had paid some of the arrears and was still waiting for his pension monies.

Mtimunye repeatedly reminded the maintenance officer of the pension payout, but he left it to Matlala to pay the arrears maintenance.

The officer admitted in court that he had not given much attention to Mtimunye's file.

Although Matlala paid some of the arrears maintenance after receiving his pension of R237 000 in 2006, he soon fell into arrears again and steadily withdrew the money so that he ended up with an overdraft.

All of the withdrawals were made at an ATM at the Carousel Sun casino.

The criminal case was reinstated in 2009 against Matlala, but he was given a suspended sentence and the magistrate "wrote off" the arrears of R24 500 without giving any reasons. There is no provision in the Act for such an order.

Hiemstra said there were ample provisions in the Act for the effective enforcement of maintenance orders, but the legal remedies were simply disregarded.

"The failure to take effective and available steps speaks of gross incompetence and dereliction of duties.

"As a result the plaintiff cannot recover the arrears maintenance," he said.

Read more on:    npa  |  mbombela

Arms inquiry continues

2014-10-20 06:02

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


The truth about painkillers and exercise

Many of us use painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines to mask pain so they can continue with their training.


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Where were you when you last felt alive?
Watch: Fishing under ice
This all-terrain vehicle is badass!
This is why you need to get fit in your 20's

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on electronics!

Get mind blowing savings on top electronic products. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You may be spending too much time organising and trying to control things to make sure everything is perfect instead of more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.