Deputy minister ‘a bigamist’

2014-11-16 15:00

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Nkosi Patekile Holomisa, deputy minister of labour and chief of AmaHegebe in Mqanduli in the Eastern Cape, has been hauled before the Mthatha

High Court by his estranged first wife, Bukelwa Holomisa.

She wants R26?000 a month in maintenance for herself and their two minor children – and when that matter is finalised, she wants the chief charged

with bigamy.

Bukelwa Holomisa’s lawyer, Wesley Hayes, told City Press they were preparing an annulment case against Holomisa to be heard in February next year.

“We want his second marriage to be annulled because the divorce proceedings have not been finalised, yet he has already married someone else,” said Hayes.

In 2013, the Constitutional Court ruled that a man’s customary marriage to a second wife could go ahead only with his first wife’s express permission.

While arguments were being heard before the Constitutional Court at the time, Holomisa – then leader of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA – told City Press that “express consent of the first wife is not part of the practice of polygamous marriage”.

“To require the first wife to give express consent at all times would amount to a denunciation of the right to marry more than one wife in accordance with custom.”

But before the court can hear arguments about Holomisa’s second marriage, it must tackle the question of the divorce – which the chief insisted is a non-issue because, he said, a decree of divorce had already been issued. “There is, therefore, no pending divorce between the parties. Accordingly, the application?...?is misplaced and falls to be dismissed?...

“It should be dismissed with costs,” Holomisa argued in papers before the court, which City Press has seen.

He did not respond to requests for comment this week.

In court papers seen by City Press, Bukelwa Holomisa claimed that the R6?000 monthly maintenance she receives is inadequate.

She argued that Holomisa, who earns an annual salary of R1.7?million as a parliamentarian, can afford more.

She listed as monthly household expenses for her maintenance and that of her children:

»?R300 a month for internet connectivity;

» R379 a month for gym membership at Virgin Active;

»?R9?000 a month for rent of a three-bedroom house; and

»?R3?000 for groceries.

Other expenses include DStv, petrol, toiletries and school activities.

She also wants “interim care [or custody] of the two minor children born of the marriage”.

There are two differing reports from family advocates – one, in Cape Town, says Bukelwa Holomisa should get custody, while the other, in Mthatha, favours

her husband.

The matter is set down for Wednesday after it was postponed on Tuesday.

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