Feud leads to house demolition
A bitter battle between a mother and her daughter in-law has led to the demolition of a seven-roomed family house.
The on-going Rantaong family feud in Maun took a cruel twist recently when the daughter-in law, Galetshabe Sekoni Rantaong ordered the demolition of the house her husband had built in his mother’s yard before she was married.
Curious onlookers watched in disbelief as hired men brought down the house that had caused a bitter family row and rivalry between the two for the past four years.
Speaking to The Voice as the house was being demolished, Segametsi Rantaong, 62, accused her daughter- in- law of cruelty to her and her grandson from her son’s relationship before marriage.
Narrating the events that lead to the drastic decision to demolish the house, Segametsi said: “Everything was fine until 2007 when my son Obonetse got married and moved out to stay in Sedie with his new wife. I was left with his first born son, Agang from his previous relationship with a woman who died before they could tie the knot.
“As time went by without any financial support from Obonetse I rented out the house for P1 500 to look after his son, but I was surprised when the boy’s step mother suddenly demanded the rental money every month end.”
Segametsi further said that in 2009 things went from bad to worse after Agang passed his Junior Certificate exams and needed more money for high school. “That was when my daughter in law locked the house and kicked out the tenants, leaving us financially helpless.”
She said that her already strained relationship with her daughter- in-law further deteriorated to a point where Galetshabe often hurled insults at her whenever she came to check the house. Her actions then forced her to approach the District Officer and social workers for intervention. Segametsi was advised to go to the magistrate’s court where she was encouraged to reconcile with her daughter-in-law.
In May this year Segametsi’s son and his wife engaged a lawyer and dragged the old woman to the magistrate’s court over the house.
“In court she spoke of how the house was legally hers because she was married in community of property. She asked the court to grant her permission to demolish it, and her wish was granted.”
Describing how the continuing house row caused her son to disown her, Segametsi said: “ My son and I are no longer on talking terms. He has since sent a text message to inform me that whatever function takes place at home, be it a wedding or a funeral, we should not bother to invite him. And indeed his sister got married recently and he did not attend.”
Tears rolling down her cheeks Segametsi explained that to further demonstrate how serious her son was at disowning his own mother he has since changed his mobile numbers so that she would not be able to reach him
Obonetse, 44 and his wife refused to comment. The wife threatened that if her name appeared in the newspaper, The Voice and her mother-in-law would be back in court soon for defamation of character.