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'Illegally married' man lays charges

By unknown | Nov 29, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

The drama between a Soweto man, Sydwell Mfeka and the woman who married him without his consent, has taken a new turn.

Mfeka, 36, of Diepkloof, has laid a charge of fraud at Johannesburg Central Police Station against his one-time sweetheart, Lungile Nkosi, 25.

He has laid a similar charge against the Department of Home Affairs official who helped her register the controversial marriage.

Nkosi has laughed it off, saying he was wasting his time. "I still say I did not do it for myself. I did it for my child. He was trying to sell the house, so as to leave us homeless. My actions were driven by good intentions.

"He can go to court, but for now I want to be left to enjoy my victory. I scored it for my boy. I had to stop his plans," she said.

In August, desperate to stop her common-law husband from evicting her and their three-year-old son from their Pimville house, Nkosi went to Home Affairs in Johannesburg and married him in absentia.

She only produced a receipt of the ilobolo payment Mfeka had made in 2003, to qualify to marry him. She has a marriage certificate to that effect and Home Affairs say it is official and that she was within her rights to marry him - present or not.

Mfeka is fuming that he was married without his presence nor consent. He says Nkosi and the official did not follow the right procedure and he wants that corrected.

"What they did was fraud and I want the courts to settle it."

But Nkosi was unfazed, saying that what she did was lawful.

She says she was informed by officials at Home Affairs that a case of fraud had been opened against her.

"We will see what happens," was all she said.

The department said the law was not open to abuse because a spouse would have to produce proof that ilobolo was paid to register a union, even if alone.

What the Act says - definition of customary marriages:

l It is important to note that in terms of the definition of a customary marriage, a customary marriage is a marriage negotiated, celebrated or concluded according to any of the systems of indigenous African customary law which exist in South Africa;

l The Act also stipulates some requirements; and

l Both prospective spouses must consent to the marriage.


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