No prison for maintenance defaulters

2014-12-12 06:52

The Western Cape justice department says more emphasis will be placed on attaching the pension money and other assets of child maintenance defaulters than sending them to prison.

“The objective is not to incarcerate defaulting fathers but to hold them to account as to why they are not meeting their obligations in terms of existing maintenance orders despite having the means to do so,” regional department head Hishaam Mohamed said yesterday.

He said those who had lost their income should not ignore the court but rather apply for a variation order.

The department had tabled a new bill that results in maintenance defaulters receiving a bad credit record.

By the end of this year’s 16 days of activism campaign, the department’s Operation Isondlo Campaign had successfully executed 185 warrants for defaulters who collectively owed R1.6 million.

The department had prioritised 1 639 outstanding warrants of arrest during its campaign, which was launched on November 17.

The top 10 defaulters collectively owed more than R1 million.

Yesterday, a Western Cape man who owes R113 600 in child maintenance abandoned his bail application in the Mitchells Plain Magistrates’ Court.

Last week the court heard that Faizel Petersen (39) had not paid maintenance for his four minor children since last year.

He was kept in custody and his case was postponed to January 9.

Another maintenance defaulter, Eric Halvorsen, who owed R519 459 appeared in the Bellville Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

He would appear again on February 20.

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