Pretoria – “You will not smoke in your house or in the presence of the minor children for the duration of their visit to you,” was one of a host of orders meted out to a Pretoria father by the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on Wednesday.
The father, who cannot be identified to protect his children, turned to court for an urgent order affording him visitation rights to his two sons, aged 7 and 5. He and his wife had been separated since last year and their divorce is pending.
The father, who said he dearly loved his children, complained to the court that his estranged wife refused him contact or visitation rights.
Judge Tshifhiwa Maumela granted an order that the children may visit him this week until the schools reopened. There were a host of dos and don’ts stipulated in the order, which included that he refrained from taking puffs from his cigarettes during this time.
His wife feared that it may harm their eldest son, who is recovering from a complicated foot operation.
It emerged that complications had set in after the operation.
The boy is receiving specialised wound care treatment in a bid to save his leg.
The mother is, according to court papers, extremely vigilant about the no smoking policy around her children, especially around the eldest boy.
It was stated that the father once wanted to take the children to the movies, but he had to go home first to change his clothes, as they smelt of smoke.
The mother said she was the one who had put her life on hold to try to save their son’s leg and she would not have anything stand in the way of recovery.
The boy is receiving expensive treatment from Russia, which is "highly specialised and at the cutting edge of pioneering medical technology", she said.
The mother said he may not be exposed to smoke as it would inhibit the growth of stem cells. “The applicant (husband) smokes in his house,” she told the court.
The man denied this, but his wife said she could smell it and their youngest son confirmed this.
She said the fact that he smelt of smoke before he was due to take the children to the movies confirmed her suspicion that he still smoked.
“This shows his inability to act in the best interests of the children,” the woman said.