This week saw another twist in a case involving the nephew of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Minister Lulu Xingwana.
Xingwana’s nephew and a 27-year-old Mqanduli woman are entangled in a bitter custody battle for their two-year-old daughter, who cannot be named to protect her identity, and who now lives under the minister’s roof despite a court order that she be returned to her mother.
On Wednesday, two days before the matter returned to court in Mthatha, the child’s maternal grandmother arrived at Xingwana’s Pretoria home with the intension of taking her granddaughter back to Eastern Cape.
The two-year-old has been living in Pretoria since February 1, when the previous judge in the case, Zamini Nhlangulela, ordered that she stay with the Xingwanas.
The minor was taken by Xingwana and her nephew from her mother’s care in Mqanduli early last month after Judge Nhlangulela granted the father an interim order.
Then, at the beginning of this month, Mthatha High Court Judge Buyiswa Majiki ordered the child be returned to her mother by March 7.
This did not happen as her father, through his lawyer Arnie Immerman, challenged Majiki’s decision by filing an appeal on the day the child was supposed to be returned.
It was this that meant the child’s grandmother left the ministerial home in Waterkloof empty-handed – she could not take the little girl with her because of the ongoing appeal.
On Friday, the case was postponed at the Mthatha High Court to allow the child to be brought into court before a final decision is made.
A letter from the court registrar reads, in part: “The case will be postponed to be handed down before the presiding judge on April 3, alternatively, on any earlier date when the minor child is brought to court either by the applicant or the respondent?.?.?.?The judge still insists that the minor child be brought to court when judgment is handed down.”