Cash-flush MEC hauled to maintenance court for refusing to support twins

Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe.Picture : Mlungisi Louw
Free State Education MEC Tate Makgoe.Picture : Mlungisi Louw

Desperate former lover says Tate Makgoe is refusing to support their twins, and she’s going to court for help

A cash-flush top politician in the Free State has been accused of neglecting his young twins while he gets chauffeured by the blue-light brigade and has constant bodyguards.

Free State education MEC Tate Makgoe will next month be dragged to the Kempton Park Maintenance Court to explain why he refuses to support the children he fathered with a former staffer in his department.

Makgoe (56), whose asset portfolio allegedly includes seven properties, a fleet of vehicles and shareholding in high-end nightclubs and retail outlets, failed to respond to repeated requests for comment made to his office and spokesperson.

The MEC’s lawyers, City Press has learnt, have allegedly threatened the mother of the twins that she will be arrested should she speak to the media about the papgeld drama because she will be in contempt of court.

Under Makgoe’s leadership, the provincial education department produced an improved matric pass rate in the country, being named the top achievers in 2017.

The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the twins, claimed she became homeless when she was kicked out of an apartment he bought for her and the children.

“I met him while working … in the department of education but he had nothing to do with my appointment. I’m a hard worker and earned my spot,” she said.

She said she fell pregnant two years into their relationship in 2016.

“After falling pregnant he asked me to resign and promised that he would pay me R20 000 every month [which is what I was earning at the time] for a period of six months so I can take care of the kids and to avoid the risk of his wife finding out about our affair and the pregnancy. I agreed, as I trusted him.”

The Johannesburg-based mother claimed that Makgoe bought her an apartment in the Vaal under a friend’s name as “he didn’t want any paper trail for his wife to find out”.

“He promised to get me a job in government after six months,” she said.

But all hell broke loose after his wife found out about their secret affair, she said. Makgoe and his wife divorced last year.

“He then broke contact with me in September 2017 when the twins were about six months old. From then on I couldn’t get hold of him and I struggled financially as I depended on him. That’s when I decided to take him to court but he first denied the children [were his]. We had to do a DNA test which proved he was the father.”

City Press has seen a copy of the DNA results.

Besides being on an MEC’s salary of almost R2 million, Makgoe has properties across the Free State, including on a golf estate in Parys. He also owns a property in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

Makgoe drives around in a BMW 5 series and a Range Rover.

The MEC is a shareholder in an Engen petrol station and owns a convenience store in Bloemfontein and half of equity in Woolworths franchises in Phuthaditjhaba and Ramsey. He also owns a stake in Cappello nightclubs in Bloemfontein and Kimberley.

The MEC owns two Capello night clubs

His former lover said she took Makgoe to court again this year after he had failed to honour their agreement.

“The man has destroyed my life and neglected our twins. I struggle to make ends meet [because he is] not even paying for basics. My kids have been kicked out of crèche numerous times because I was in arrears. I even had to cancel my medical aid as I couldn’t afford to pay.”

She said the children’s expenses were about R18 000 monthly, which included R4 700 for crèche, R10 000 rent, R1 500 for petrol to take the children to crèche and R2 500 for groceries “and he laughs and disputes this when we are in court”.

“I owe the hospital R21 000 from the time I gave birth. I have an overdraft of about R30 000 with the bank and his attorney was telling me to sell my car. This guy has more than five properties and owns several retail franchises and night clubs yet he is making me suffer. I am not saying he must care for me but at the very least [he must] support his kids.”

She said she was going public about Makgoe because she was “out of options”. She accused him of manipulating the process.

“I am fearful as he [Makgoe] is politically connected. Every time we were scheduled to appear in court he would organise contract work for me and then appear in court and tell the magistrate that I have a job.

“The last job he got me I only lasted three months. They told me they no longer could afford to have me. This was one of his friends.”

She said she was scared of Makgoe and was afraid of what would happen after her story appeared in the media.

“Even now with the contract job I have, he got it for me. But I am certain I will lose it in no time, especially seeing I’m speaking to the media because he has told me he is a politician and can’t have his name dragged in the mud. He speaks to me through his friends.”

Their next court appearance is scheduled for September.

Makgoe failed to respond to numerous messages sent to him.

His personal assistant said the MEC was in meetings and promised to respond but failed to do so by the time of going to press.

Free State education spokesperson also failed to respond to questions sent to the department.


What should happen to powerful individuals who neglect their parental responsibilities?

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