No prison for maintenance defaulters

2014-12-12 05:30

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Johannesburg - More emphasis will be placed on attaching the pension monies and other assets of child maintenance defaulters than sending them to prison, the Western Cape justice department said on Thursday.

"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," said regional department head Hishaam Mohamed.

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 which would mean that maintenance defaulters would receive 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 R1.6m.

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

The top 10 defaulters collectively owed more than R1m.

On Thursday, a Western Cape man who owes R113 600 in child maintenance abandoned his bail application in the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate's 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 9 January.

Another maintenance defaulter, Eric Halvorsen, who owed R519 459 appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

He would appear again on 20 February.


Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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