Cheating husband who secretly made loans and reckless business decisions, won’t be getting a share from wife’s pension fund

Published Sep 13, 2023


A cheating husband who took out loans without informing his wife, and made reckless business decisions, was told that he won’t be getting a share from her pension fund during their divorce settlement.

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard that BL and MJ got married through customary law in 2018 and had two children, KT born in 2014 and OT born in 2019.

They bought a house in Gauteng and had five cars, comprising of two light vehicles and three minibuses.

The minibuses were used to operate the husband’s taxi business, which was also part of the joint estate.

In January 2020, four months after OT was born, the husband moved out of their matrimonial home.

Two weeks before moving out, he transferred two minibuses to an entity called Nthetsopele Holdings. The wife said this was done in an effort to conceal his assets.

In July 2020, he filed for divorce and wanted a division of the joint estate, and 50% from his wife’s government employee pension fund.

The wife sought an order of forfeiture of benefits from her pension and wanted a liquidator to determine assets of the joint estate.

In her court papers, she said her husband resigned from work in 2013 and he cashed out his pension fund and that he did not share it with her. He used his pension money solely for his needs.

She further argued that the husband was involved in extramarital affairs during their time of marriage and has a child with a woman who harasses her.

She said the woman had been harassing her by calling her and emotionally abusing her and telling her to move out of the matrimonial home.

She further added that she learned that while still married, the husband allegedly had two more children with other women.

She said since the husband moved out of their home, he has never contacted his children, even though he was never denied access to his kids.

The husband defended himself by saying he does not see the children because he does not want to see them in the presence of their mother until she changes her attitude towards him.

She further submitted that he left her to support the children all by herself until she took him to court and forced him to maintain them.

He was ordered to pay R2,000 per child and to pay 50% towards his wife’s expenses.

When they were still staying together, they both made payments towards the bond, however, he stopped depositing his portion to the wife when he moved out.

In her testimony, she added that she contributed heftily towards her husband’s taxi business. She gave him R50,000 to buy one of the three minibuses.

The three taxis were making a monthly profit of R31,000.

In 2017, she gave him R70,000 to benefit from a scheme where Eskom wanted the Standerton Taxi Group (STG) to provide minibuses to transport its workers for a period of five years. Those STG members who participated on the scheme were to be paid R14,000 every month.

It only came out in court that STG gave him a refund after he withdrew from the scheme, but he didn’t tell his wife. He said he used to money to renovate their house.

She said she never had access to the business account. The husband would give her his bank card when she needed to buy something for the household.

She said she learned through the maintenance court that the husband made loans without informing her.

The court heard that he loaned R170,000 from a man named Khoza and also took a R100,000 loan from Absa bank.

In his defence, the husband said he was not obligated to share his pension fund as they were not married or staying together at the time, they were visiting each other as boyfriend and girlfriend.

He denied cheating, but admitted that he was in a relationship that started after he moved out of the matrimonial home.

He further denied that he was hiding his assets and said he gave Khoza two minibuses after he failed to repay him. Khoza was the one who had them registered with Nthetsopele.

Regarding the loans, he said he didn’t discuss his business transactions with his wife, hence he didn’t tell her anything.

When evaluating the evidence, Judge Luleka Flatela said she couldn’t fault the husband for not sharing his pension fund as the parties were not married by then.

She said she found merit in the allegations of the husband’s extramarital affairs and adultery may support the breakdown of the marriage, but it is not necessarily ‘substantial misconduct’ for the purposes of a forfeiture order.

Instead, Judge Flatela said she found ‘substantial misconduct’ on the economic ruin and reckless decisions by the husband which affected the patrimonial assets of the joint estate which justified a forfeiture order.

“I could not lose sight of the fact that the plaintiff (husband) has indebted the joint estate and disposed of its assets without the defendant’s (wife) knowledge or consent.

“It immediately appears that he recklessly diminished the patrimony of the joint estate by transacting in clandestine, questionable business dealings,” said Flatela.

Judge Flatela ordered that estate could be divided, however, the wife’s pension fund will not divided.