Motlanthe, ex-wife settle divorceComment on this story
Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe is now free to marry his long-time partner, Gugu Mtshali.
On Tuesday, Motlanthe and his estranged wife, Mapula, settled their divorce in the Johannesburg High Court.
He filed for a divorce in 2011, but his estranged wife demanded monthly maintenance of R50 000.
On Thursday, Selwyn Shapiro, an attorney who represented Mapula Motlanthe, confirmed that the parties “settled the matter amicably”.
He said the divorce was granted and Motlanthe agreed to pay his ex-wife a monthly maintenance of R30 000, and she also got two houses.
Motlanthe had been separated from his wife for several years and is living with Mtshali, a businesswoman.
In court papers the wife accused the other woman of ruining her marriage. She said her husband formed and conducted a relationship with the woman and for that reason lost interest in the continuation of their marriage.
She said this led to Motlanthe’s moving out of their matrimonial home some years ago.
But Motlanthe denied her allegation that their marriage broke down because of his alleged affair, which he says began after the couple had separated and after the marriage had already broken down irretrievably.
However, in his biography, written by Ebrahim Harvey, Motlanthe revealed the reason for the breakdown of his marriage to the woman he met in 1970.
A section of the biography about his time on Robben Island, titled Prison letters and a painful episode, tells how Motlanthe’s wife fell pregnant by another man while he was in prison. The pair had a son, Kgomotso, but in 1976, soon after their marriage, Motlanthe was jailed.
Five years later, Mapula gave birth to a daughter, another man’s child.
Ntabiseng was told that Motlanthe was not her father only when she turned 21.
Motlanthe continued with the marriage after his release from prison in 1987, and the couple had another child.
In the book, Harvey wrote that Motlanthe opted for divorce “as a result of the fact that his feelings for her had eventually changed”.
In the book Mapula seemed to agree, saying: “When he came back, we did not really connect. We were together, but there was little connection.”