A Joburg tycoon is on the verge of signing one of the biggest deals of his career – and fighting off his wife who wants half of his R5 billion empire.
The billionaire, who the Saturday Star cannot name in terms of a recent Constitutional Court ruling on divorce proceedings, is a well known Joburg businessman.
He and his wife have been married for decades, but the marriage soured when the husband began an affair with another woman and fathered a child with her.
“He exploited my generosity and goodness and that of my family… in particular my father on a personal and financial level to advance his own personal interests whilst betraying me,” she said in an affidavit filed at the South Gauteng High Court.
The man claimed the couple led separate lives, were unable to communicate about important issues concerning their marriage, had irreconcilable differences and that his wife was unsupportive of his work and business commitments, among other things.
The wife denied this. Instead she claimed that it was her love and support that allowed her husband to become as successful as he has, amassing a fortune that includes some of the most expensive luxury cars in the world and a helicopter.
When they were married they would travel overseas, staying in the best hotels, flying first class and even on Concorde, the world’s only supersonic aircraft.
The billionaire’s shirts and suits were handmade and he had items of jewellery specially designed for her to commemorate their milestone wedding anniversaries.
The family home was luxuriously appointed and extended several times during the couple’s time together.
When they became estranged, the billionaire left her the house and paid her up to R65 000 a month.
But now, the wife has claimed, that is not enough.
She told the court that she deserved more from a man who has numerous companies – and that her monthly maintenance exceeded the R67 350 a month, which her estranged husband had agreed to pay, over and above her household insurance.
She also wanted her 13-year-old Italian car replaced.
She told the court she wanted to be paid R150 000 a month, R750 000 for a new car, R20 million as a lump sum, and R350 000 to travel abroad three times over the next five years. She also wanted R150 000 towards her legal costs.
She said she also wanted the R6 million house transferred to her name, with all its fittings.
His lawyers counter-claimed that his wife’s 43-page application was unnecessarily long-winded, containing a plethora of irrelevant, argumentative and unnecessary evidence relating to their client’s luxurious lifestyle and affair.
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng of the South Gauteng High Court dismissed the husband’s bid to have her affidavit declared an abuse of the court process, saying that the wife had every right to mention every detail, given the wealth that her estranged husband enjoyed and the lavish lifestyle he shared with his mistress.
“The allegations relating to the applicant’s conduct with his alleged mistress are unsavoury, but this conduct is relevant to show that the respondent is entitled to maintenance pendente lite on the same standard she was accustomed to, especially where such standard is prejudiced by the applicant’s alleged extramarital relationship.”
Mokgoatlheng ordered that the application would have to be heard in full before the court would decide on the merits.
On Friday lawyers representing both parties declined to comment. - Saturday Star