*71- year -estranged wife takes husband to court
*Demands a house before she can let him re-marry
An estranged wife in Xaxaba village in the Okvango delta recently frustrated her husband’s efforts to re-marry by demanding a house before she could give her consent.
Diane Mpanyane, 71, was divorced traditionally in 1986 when she was found pregnant with another man’s baby.
This week Diane however dragged 78 -year -old Thogotona Mpanyane to the Maun customary court and demanded that he be instructed to build her a house before she could give her consent for him to re-marry.
She said she did not recognise the traditional procedure of being returned to your parents house as divorce and therefore considered herself very much married to Mpanyane all these years although they did not live together.
She further argued that for the marriage to be officially nullified Mpanyane had to build her a house in her home village, give her a herd of cattle, a vehicle and a fishery business as divorce settlement.
The flabbergasted visually impaired Mpanyane however expressed shock and disgust at the preposterous demands.
“I followed our traditions to divorce her because she fell pregnant with another man’s child.
I gave her P8 000 which was the price of four cattle, P3 600 for new clothes which she wore on her way back and P30 000 as a divorce settlement just out of respect and love and not because the court had ordered me to.
What more does she still want from me.”
Diane was not entitled to the fishery business and cars because they were bought after she was gone, he said.
“ We also did not own any property when she left so she can’t demand a house.” Mpanyane charged,
The ageing couple married in 1958 but things went sour in 1986 after Mpanyane realised that his wife was pregnant with another man’s child.
The court was told that Mpanyane got employed in Tribal Authority in 2000 as a headman of records and towards the end of 2012 he wanted to marry but his plans hit a snag when Diane stopped him in his tracks.
The presiding officer, Labane Meno ruled in Mpanyane’s favour and dismissed Dineo’s case as unreasonable because Mpanyane had done everything according to tradition to nullify the couple’s traditional marriage.
Diane expressed disatisfaction with the ruling and threated to appeal.
Oct 10, 2014