Tuesday, 18 August 2020

ZUMA MAINTENANCE BATTLE BEGINS


The first round of the maintenance hearing involving former president Jacob Zuma and his estranged wife, Tobeka Madiba ended without a final settlement on Tuesday.

Zuma was dragged to the Durban Magistrate’s Court by his wife, Madiba, who is demanding a monthly maintenance fee of R14 000 for the upkeep of their 14-year-old daughter.

But Zuma’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, has dismissed the claim, saying the former president was a responsible father who was taking care of the child.

After the hearing, which was held in-camera, Zuma’s legal representatives - Advocate Nqaba Buthelezi and Advocate Rudolph Mbalula refused to comment.

While leaving the court precinct, Buthelezi repeatedly told the media that they have nothing to say about the case.

Madiba herself did not comment after the hearing as she was whisked away by members of the presidential protection unit, using a back exit.

The maintenance prosecutor, Thulasizwe Mahlobo, said he could only divulge that the process was a mere mediation and not a court case. He added that the mediation process was meant to hear both sides regarding the maintenance matter.

“It was just a mediation process of certain issues that were happening and then we were just trying to find amicable ground… I was only facilitating,” Mahlobo said.

He said ethically as a court officer dealing with maintenance matters, he was not at liberty to disclose the outcome of the process and referred those questions to lawyers of both parties.

“I was only facilitating and I actually don’t have the right to give out all the information at the moment up until the attorneys are happy with both sides and whatever that we agreed upon,” he said.

However, he was able to say both parties will come back to the court in the near future for further deliberations in his presence.

“They are still going to come back. Both sides are still going to try and consult with their parties (Zuma and Madiba), then they will come back to me. Then we will finalise everything that we did with them and what actually transpired at the meeting.

“Mind you, there was nothing that was discussed before but currently, both parties were supposed to put their sides of the story so that we find amicable ground. You see, this is what the meeting was all about,” Mahlobo said. IOL

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