Xingwana, nephew lose court bid

2013-03-03 16:56
Lulu Xingwana, File

Lulu Xingwana, File

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Johannesburg - A furious high court judge has ­ordered that a child fathered by the nephew of Cabinet minister Lulu Xingwana be returned to her mother by next Thursday.

The two-year-old child, who cannot be named, was taken by Xingwana and her nephew from her mother’s care in Mqanduli, Eastern Cape, in terms of an ­interim order granted by Mthatha High Court Judge Zamani Nhlangulela on 1 February.

But Judge Buyiswa Majiki on Friday turned the tables, ordering that the child be returned to her home in Mqanduli because the mother did not have access to her daughter.

The little girl is currently ­staying in Xingwana’s ministerial residence in Pretoria.

Xingwana is the minister of women, children and people with ­disabilities.

Lilla Crouse, a senior Legal Aid SA lawyer representing the child’s mother, argued before Judge Majiki that the child was being ­denied a bond she had developed since birth - being with her ­mother.

Crouse said it was not disputed that the mother had been the child’s primary caregiver for most of her life, when the father was nowhere to be found.

Arnie Immerman, representing Xingwana’s nephew, argued that the child would be better off living in Pretoria where she was “receiving the best of everything”, from medical benefits to schooling ­facilities.

At one point, an angry Judge Majiki adjourned for Immerman to come up with a reasonable ­explanation for why the child was not in court, as per the judge’s ­instructions.

Last month, City Press reported how Xingwana and her nephew, flanked by two bodyguards and three police officers, took the ­toddler from her distraught grandmother.

A final order will be made by Majiki on 15 March.


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