The president of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces, Charlie Mnisi, has escaped with a warning after failing to obey a court order to pay maintenance for his three children.
Mnisi, also national treasurer of the Black Lawyers Association, almost had a warrant issued against him but was excused after he apologised.
He was ordered in November last year to pay R1500 a month for each child.
Yesterday he did not give reasons why he failed to pay but apologised to his former wife and the Nelspruit magistrate's court for failing to do so.
After he had failed to pay for the past four months, his ex-wife, Mantwa Gladys Mnisi, approached the same court.
She said her ex-husband was sending her from pillar to post after he defaulted on maintenance and other court orders.
Mnisi confirmed in court that he had failed to pay papgeld for his children and vowed to do so at the end of the month.
His wife also said Mnisi failed to comply with the court order that their house in the suburb of Stelties in Nelspruit, and their Volvo S40 car, be awarded to her and her children.
She said the court ordered Mnisi to deliver the car within 10 days, but four months after the judgment he had still not done so.
"I don't know why he defies the court. Or does he enjoy facing me in court daily?" Gladys asked.
"All I want from him is to take care of his children, that's all," she said.
Mnisi was also ordered to pay school fees, including for extra mural activities, and to buy school uniforms for the children.
He will furthermore be responsible for the transportation of the two eldest children to and from school while Gladys is responsible for the youngest child's transport.
She told Sowetan yesterday that their 10-year marriage ended last year when Mnisi started "beating her up for nothing".
"All these teeth in my mouth are fake. He beat me so badly that my teeth came out. I couldn't live with a lion and decided to file for divorce," she said.
Attempts to get comment from Mnisi, who represented himself in the matter, drew a blank as his phone went unanswered.