Having my daughter back is the gift that keeps giving

By Almari Wessels
25 December 2016

He had to resort to a daring kidnap to get his Mijah back – now Michael is the happiest dad in the world.

It may be the holidays, but Michael Kliment didn’t have to wait for the festive season for a good dollop of feel-goodness.

For the businessman from Port Elizabeth, Christmas came in July when he finally brought his youngest daughter home from Slovakia after a separation of four years. And to have his little Mijah (9) back with him in South Africa has made Michael feel like the luckiest man in the world.

“We are doing very well. Mijah is enjoying life – I have to take her to a different birthday party every weekend,” the 43-year-old karate guru tells YOU.

When we visited the Kliment family in August, Mijah had been in the country for only four days after a dramatic trans-European duck-and-dive which saw father and daughter on the run until he was finally granted permission to bring her home.

The drama started when Mijah travelled to Slovakia with her mother, Janka Klimentova, in November 2012. It was meant to be just a visit to Michael’s then wife’s homeland, but Janka decided she wanted to stay – and Michael found himself in and out of court in a bid to get his daughter, who was born in Port Elizabeth, back home.

The couple eventually got divorced in May 2015 and when a brain tumour claimed Janka’s life in April this year, Michael was adamant that Mijah must come home. However, Janka’s parents refused to let their granddaughter go.

Mijah’s mom, Janka (left) died in April. PHOTO: Facebook Mijah’s mom, Janka (left) died in April. PHOTO: Facebook

He travelled to Slovakia with Mikaila (19), his daughter from a previous relationship, “kidnapped” Mijah from her school early one morning and dodged Interpol for five weeks before a Slovakian court granted him permission to bring her to South Africa.

Michael says Mijah has adjusted well to life back in PE and is looking forward to starting Grade 3 at Summerwood Primary School in January.

Christmas will be spent with Michael's family in PE and he and his daughters will also enjoy a break in Mauritius over the festive season.

As Michael told YOU in August: “I have both my daughters with me now – what more could a father want?”

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