Ex-soccer star is dad to... 50 kids

Sibongile Mashaba

Sibongile Mashaba

Mamelodi Sundowns assistant coach Harris Choeu says he has 50 children and does not remember some of them.

Choeu was responding to questions posed by Sowetan after a Cape Town woman, Melanie Harker, claimed that he had fathered her six-year-old daughter Ashley but does not support her.

Choeu said: "You have to specify which woman you are talking about. I have 50 children. They are many and I do not know which one you are talking about."

Harker, a supervisor at a hotel, said she is desperately in need of money to help bring up Ashley.

"All I want is for Harris to be there for his daughter. She deserves his love and needs to know that she can count on her father," Harker said.

"He knows that he has a daughter and so do his colleagues."

Harker said she had not reported the matter to the maintenance court.

"He kept promising me that he would come and see us and that he would give me money every month.

"I just lost hope when he did not keep his promises," she said.

Choeu's friend, Vusi Mahlaba, said: "I have been there for Ashley and have helped in her upbringing.

"Ashley is now six years old and Harris has not done anything for her. I have tried talking to him about that and he keeps saying that he will do something - but he does not."

Mahlaba said Choeu had not denied fathering Ashley. "He knows he has a daughter, but I am baffled why he does not want to take responsibility.

"He also has another child in Pretoria, whom I doubt he supports. Sometimes it is not about the money. Giving your children love and being there for them is all that matters," Mahlaba said.

Choeu and Harker met in 2002 at the hotel where Harker is employed as a supervisor.