R100 000 for my lost husband


Everyday when Leonie Binneman goes to work she passes the house that has caused her so much heartache.

It’s only two doors away from her own home and is where her ex and a woman who was once her best friend conducted their affair.

Yet as she drives past the house she’s also reminded of her bittersweet victory.

The East London Magistrate’s Court has ordered Selma Meintjies to pay Leonie R100 000 in damages for luring her husband away – R50 000 for humiliation and R50 000 for the loss of comfort and support of a spouse.

“It’s not about money. It’s about the principle,” Leonie (45) says about the court judgment earlier this month. “I wanted to show other women they can do something if they’re in the same situation. You’re not powerless.”

Leonie and Herman Binneman had been married for almost 24 years and have four children.

“We did everything together as a family,” she says. “This thing has torn us apart.”

Herman has a two-year-old son with Selma (43) and they now live in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal.

But every day Leonie looks sadly at the house and remembers a time when she, her husband and their children were a happy family and Selma was a best friend.

Read more in YOU 28 July 2011.

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