A former PSL striker has been slapped with a hefty spousal and child maintenance bill by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg following his divorce to his wife of several years.
The ex-player and his former wife were also ordered to divide their joint estate, which would include their pension contributions, savings, retirement funds and property portfolios.
To top it all, in her judgment given on January 22, Acting Judge Elmarie van der Schyff noted that the man had allegedly spent a staggering R6-million in legal fees in the highly acrimonious divorce which ended in a 14-day trial.
In his court papers, the man claimed sole custody of his kids, claiming that his estranged wife was unable to properly take care of them. He also claimed she was mentally unstable, abusive and aggressive.
The man also argued that the mother had no job and could not support the kids and sustain the level of lifestyle they were accustomed to.
However, these claims were dismissed by the judge.
Van der Schyff recorded evidence by the wife that on numerous occasions she was bumped, kicked and elbowed by the ex-player. She found that there appeared to be no signs that the wife was mentally unstable and said she was impressed with the way the wife answered some of the questions during cross-examination.
According to the judgment, the man was ordered to pay more than R9 500 per month for each child’s maintenance, as well as medical expenses, school fees, costs of extra-mural activities and university fees.
This means that the player would have parted with more almost R500 000 per year in papgeld for the two kids, conservatively taking it to more than R4-million by the time they turn 18.
He was also ordered to pay more than R15 000 per month towards his ex-wife’s maintenance for four years or until she remarries or dies.
The ex-footballer apparently claimed that trouble in their marriage started after he hung up his soccer boots because he was no longer getting the handsome salary and bonuses he enjoyed as a soccer player.
According to his evidence, it “frustrated” her that they no longer had access to the bling they previously enjoyed. She, however, claimed that the player became depressed when his football career was over.
Their situation had forced them to constantly request for assistance from the player’s mother, who according to the judgment, became extremely involved in their lives.
The sorry state of affairs was described by the judge as she indicated that after the breakdown of their marriage, “the defendant’s relationship with the in-laws slowly started to deteriorate to the extent that both parties’ evidence undeniably show that the defendant and the plaintiff’s family are clearly in two hostile camps”.
“She testified that the acrimony between her and the plaintiff’s mother is even greater than the acrimony between her and the plaintiff.
She claimed that her fights with the ex-player were always motivated by his mother’s alleged dislike of her, and that the ex-player’s parents always sided with their son even when he was wrong.”
The judge, however, said the investment by the man’s mom in the lives of her grandchildren should not only be seen in a negative light. “The paternal grandmother and extended family’s involvement is generally beneficial to the minor children,” the court ruled.
The woman also testified that the player was making her over-reliant on him for having to ask for little expenses such as paying for a hairdresser, and that she had to borrow money to repair a washing machine.
She said he also told them to move out of their R60 000 per month rented house in an affluent suburb to a R12 000 per month one. The judge said this was unfair to the children because they would have to share the house with the mother while he lives in a luxurious home provided by his father.
The court ultimately ordered that the woman would be the primary caregiver subject to generous access by the father. The ex-footballer was also ordered to pay costs of the divorce action. The soccer star did not respond to questions sent to him