Unemployed husband accused of dealing in drugs forfeits wife’s pension fund in divorce settlement

The husband who failed to support his family, was adamant that he was entitled to half of everything by virtue of being married in community of property. File picture: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

The husband who failed to support his family, was adamant that he was entitled to half of everything by virtue of being married in community of property. File picture: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

Published Jun 11, 2024


An unemployed Pretoria man who thought he was entitled to his wife’s pension fund got a rude awakening after the judge ruled that he wouldn’t be getting a cent following his dubious evidence during the divorce proceedings.

The man got married to his now ex-wife in community of property in March 2000.

They had one child, a daughter who was born in 2005. After her birth, he slept in a separate bedroom throughout their marriage.

Tired of the loveless marriage, the wife moved out of their home in 2021.

The husband subsequently filed for divorce and wanted a share of the joint estate including half of his wife’s pension fund.

The wife has been employed by the department of education as a senior administration clerk since June 1996.

She argued that husband failed to support the family and she had to sell atchaar and tupperware to make extra income.

She told the North Gauteng High Court that she didn’t want the husband to get a portion from her pension fund.

In his defence, the husband said he was entitled to half of everything by virtue of the fact that they were married in community of property.

He added that when they bought their house, he paid R150,000 for deposit and transfer fees.

Moreover, he bought most of the furniture in the house.

The court heard that for the larger part of their 24-year marriage, the husband has not been employed and, according to him, he was currently still unemployed.

For brief and sporadic periods during the marriage, he said he managed to make money from a social club where was a chairperson and he would make loans from the social club.

Before buying their home, he received an award from the Road Accident Fund. He was also a director at MC and GML Ngomane Trading and Projects CC, where he made money by securing tenders.

He said he currently lives with his parents and is being supported by his 19-year-old daughter.

Looking at the evidence, Judge Brenda Neukircher said the husband failed to provide compelling proof of his income.

Judge Neukircher said the husband paid R150,000 towards the house but there was no proof of where he got the money.

“He testified that the source of this money was savings from his social club activities but failed to elaborate further. His evidence was also that he purchased 90% of the furniture for the home. Again, this leads to the inevitable question, with what funds?’’ asked the judge.

The judge noted that there was no evidence of how much he was making from his company; he simply stated that he wasn’t making a lot of money without providing any proof.

Judge Neukircher further noted the wife’s evidence might be true as she testified that the husband was making money through illegal activities.

“According to the wife, the husband’s source of income was derived from illegal or criminal activities such as the dealing of drugs inter alia from the matrimonial home.

“She testified that when doing his washing one day she found a packet containing a white substance and a straw. According to the husband, he was framed. This, of course is not a denial of this particular piece of evidence,” said the judge.

When making a ruling, the judge said she was not impressed by the husband’s testimony as it was clear that his version regarding his income was not truthful.

Meanwhile, the wife made a favourable impression and where required, her version was supported by documentary evidence.

In addition, the judge said the husband didn’t contribute a cent towards his wife and child for at least four years.

“It’s clear that throughout the marriage, she has been the stable stalwart, the support for the parties’ child and importantly the breadwinner –even trying to generate a little extra income to make up for the lack of financial support from the husband.”

Judge Neukircher ordered the joint estate to be divided, however, she said the husband will forfeit his portion of the wife’s pension fund.

The husband is also ordered to pay R100,000 maintenance towards his daughter as he had made a prior agreement in another court.

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