Cape Town - Western Cape police are searching for hundreds of family maintenance defaulters – and for 149 beneficiaries for whom R76 800 has been paid and is awaiting collection.
On Monday Hishaam Mohamed, regional head of the Justice Department, said police were searching for 296 alleged maintenance defaulters as part of the Operation Isondlo 2013 campaign.
“The purpose of the campaign is to locate untraced maintenance beneficiaries and to create awareness on issues relating to domestic violence,” said Mohamed.
“Fugitive defaulters” owed up to R2.68 million.
“Some children are seen becoming drug addicts while their fathers are owners of tuck shops and taxis but don’t pay their maintenance.
“For the 16 Days of Activism we will be running several search operations. There will be roadblocks and Home Affairs will also be searching,” Mohamed said.
Top of the list of defaulters is a Strand man who owes his family more than R223 000. He is followed by a man from Mossel Bay who owes R164 259, a Simon’s Town man who owes R162 000, a second man from Simon’s Town who owes R150 810 and a man from Khayelitsha who owes R117 000.
An Ocean View mother of two girls, aged 13 and 4, said the father of her older child had been ordered to pay R500 child maintenance for her, but he was nowhere to be found.
“He hasn’t paid maintenance since she was born. The first time I went to court my daughter was two and now she is 13.
“I struggle a lot and do odd jobs such as cleaning. She is getting bigger and bigger and I can’t afford to pay her school fees of R800 a year.”
Virginia Stout, the mother of a 12-year-old boy, is a single parent who has received very little from her son’s father despite an order to pay R500 a month.
“I have been working alone without any help from his father. I injured my back at work so I am unable to work now. For the first 10 years of my son’s life I was in and out of court and just became fed up.
“I took him (the ex) to court again two years ago and he signed to pay R500. He paid for the first six months; he is in arrears at the moment.”
She did not have an income and lived with her parents who are pensioners.
“I have a back problem and can’t work; I can’t expect to live off my parents. He must pay his maintenance. What would happen to his child if he doesn’t want to pay?”
* Untraced beneficiaries can visit their nearest police station or court where a list of names will be posted.