Woman uses receipt to wed without partner

Kamogelo Seekoei

Kamogelo Seekoei

Sydwell Mfeka says his fiancee married him in his absence and that lawyers now want a lot of money to sort out his problems.

Mfeka, 36, says his betrothed Lungile Nkosi, 25, did not even tell him they were hitched.

"That makes the marriage null and void and I want it annulled. I don't want a divorce because I never married anyone," he said.

The unhappy, self-proclaimed bachelor says he paid lobola for Nkosi in 2003, but claims that was just a deposit. Nevertheless, they set up home together, contemplated a life of wedded bliss and even had a child three years ago.

But things soon turned sour and Nkosi decided to take matters into her own hands this year. She went to the department of home affairs in August, produced a receipt for the lobola and walked out with a wedding certificate.

Unsympathetic officials at the department suggested Mfeka divorce his official bride, though it still lists both as single on its database.

"I am expected to pay R25000 for a divorce. I don't have that kind of money. How can they say a person is married when he was not even there when the union was registered?

"I know our justice system is weak, but this is absurd."

Not so, says home affairs spokesman Mantshele Tau.

"Any of the two parties can go and register a marriage as long as they produce proof that they were married under customary law."

The unwilling groom insists he never entered the unholy matrimony, customarily, religiously or in any other way.

Mfeka says he only realised he was married when he wanted to sell his home in Pimville that he could no longer bear sharing with Nkosi.