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A Durban woman, desperate to be given custody of her three children, lost her application in the high court last week after it emerged she had given the court fake police documents stating her former husband was a wanted man.
The woman had said that her former husband was wanted for fraud and other crimes. She submitted two documents, which appeared to be affidavits made by two Pretoria policemen, to the court last month.
However, when her former husband’s lawyers visited the policemen last Wednesday, they found the “affidavits” were fraudulent.
The pair, who may not be named to protect their children, divorced in June after a court battle spanning three years. The children have, according to their mother, continued to see her on a “regular basis” but, in line with the divorce order, they are living with their father.
In an affidavit she made in support of her application for an interim order to change the divorce order, the woman called her former husband a “fugitive of justice” and said she feared for her and her children’s safety. She did not disclose her address and cited this as the reason for not doing so.
An attached “affidavit” appeared to have been written by policeman Johannes Kubayi.
It said the Wonderboompoort police station inspector was the investigating officer in a fraud case against the former husband. A warrant for his arrest had been issued and Kubayi tried to take the former husband into custody on September 20 and 21, but he evaded arrest, the “affidavit” said.
“It is suspected that he is part of a fraud syndicate operating nationally which makes use of fraudulent proof of payments… We are investigating other charges against (him), including money laundering, racketeering and other instances of fraud.”
Another “affidavit”, which appeared to have been made by detective Willie Mangangyi, also stationed at Wonderboompoort, confirmed the contents of Kubayi’s document.
New affidavits were taken after Kubayi and Mangangyi met the former husband’s lawyers and were presented to the court on Friday.
Kubayi said he and other officers, including Mangangyi, had travelled to KwaZulu-Natal and attempted to interview the former husband last month, but this had been in connection with an “unrelated and entirely separate investigation”.
He said there was no warrant of arrest for the man and he knew nothing of a “fraud syndicate” or an investigation into fraud, money laundering or racketeering.
He had no knowledge of the document previously submitted to the court, purporting to be his affidavit, and was off-duty on September 25 when it was supposedly made. The accompanying signatures bore a “close likeness” to his, but were not his, he said.
In his new affidavit, Mangangyi confirmed what Kubayi had said. He added that the false “affidavit” represented an attempt to defeat and obstruct the ends of justice and.
The matter had “sinister developments”, he said.
An unidentified person had repeatedly phoned and pressured Mangangyi into arresting the former husband.
“This person repeatedly refused to identify himself, responding with the comment to the effect ‘This is of no concern to you...’ when pressed for his identity,” Mangangyi said in his affidavit.
After perusing the new affidavits, Judge Johan Ploos van Amstel, sitting in the Durban High Court, dismissed the woman’s application and ordered that the children remain with their father.
The pair are to appear in court again next year over the battle for the children.