Lerato Sengadi outside the Gauteng South High Court. Picture: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - There was on outpouring of emotion following a judgment in favour of Lerato Sengadi, who had sought to be recognised as Jabulani "HHP" Tsambo's rightful wife in terms of customary law. 

On Friday at the Gauteng South High Court, Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng, however, dismissed the other application brought by Sengadi, who had wanted to cancel the late rapper's funeral on Saturday.

Mokgoatlheng said that, in the spirit of Ubuntu, Sengadi should attend HHP's funeral, which is being organised by many people as the nucleic icon "was a national treasure".

Sengadi was also given rights to the home in the upmarket suburb of Randpark Ridge, which the judge had accepted as the couple's matrimonial home. 

Robert Tsambo, Jabba's father, drove over 400km from Mahikeng to Randpark Ridge to change the locks of the house, preventing Sengadi access to it as he didn't recognise her as the music icon's wife.

Speaking after the judgment and flanked by family and friends, Sengadi maintained that this ruling would allow her to bury HHP according to what she said were his wishes, but refused to elaborate on what this entailed.

"Despite the funeral going ahead tomorrow, I will still do what he requested, what he would expect from me and what it is that he wanted.

"I am feeling very blessed," a visibly emotional Sengadi said. 

Sengadi, in her notice of motion and founding affidavit papers, had made assertions that, following the R35 000 which HHP had paid into Sengadi's mother's Capitec account.

She added that she had stood by HHP throughout his alleged battles with drugs and depression, but that she had to leave their matrimonial home after the hip-hop star's supposed infidelities.

"I even went as far as registering HHP as a beneficiary and as my spouse on my medical aid scheme in order to ensure that Jabba received the best possible care in the event of his admission to a rehab centre," Sengadi, in sworn court papers, said. 

But Robert Tsambo, in his responding papers, rejected that Sengadi was HHP's wife as a "handover ceremony", in line with accepted culture and procedures of African, had not been done.

"The most critical part of a customary marriage is the symbolic handing over of the bride to the potential husband's family. In (these) circumstances, no customary marriage was concluded," Tsambo contended.

This, the father added, included the slaughtering of a lamb or a goat "with the bile therefrom used to cleanse the couple".

"This signifies the union of the couple and the joining of the families," Tsambo said.

But Mokgoatlheng dismissed the father's argument, saying that "African culture was dynamic", and evolved with the times.

The judge further repudiated Tsambo's interpretation of customary law, charging that it was written in a patriarchal era where women "belonged" to the groom's family.

Judge Mokgoatlheng added that the South African Constitution recognised both genders, and that a symbolic handover could be performed at the bride's family home.

Judge Mokgoathleng accepted that, after the lobola was paid, the celebrations which followed constituted the so-called handover ceremony.

The lobola negotiations and celebrations had occurred at Sengadi's family home in Soweto in February 2016.