Divorce: Life of luxury unfolds as wife turns to court to claim R95 000 a month maintenance

A wife turned to court to claim interim spousal maintenance of R95 000 a month, pending a final divorce, as well as R6 million towards her legal costs. Picture: File

A wife turned to court to claim interim spousal maintenance of R95 000 a month, pending a final divorce, as well as R6 million towards her legal costs. Picture: File

Published Feb 13, 2023


Pretoria - No matter how rich you are, you can never escape the long arm of the law.

This was the lesson learnt by a husband embroiled in divorce proceedings with his estranged wife.

The wife turned to the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, to claim interim spousal maintenance of R95 000 a month, pending the final divorce, as well as R6 million towards her legal costs. The court commented that the husband, a businessman, was not entirely forthcoming about his income or assets. Acting Judge F Bezuidenhout noted that the husband at a stage said: “I can make money over and over again in my sleep.”

A life of luxury unfolded during the maintenance hearing. The couple’s youngest son, still a teenager, told the judge, “we’ve lived like the richest people in the world”. The husband said the former matrimonial home was a “palatial home in Houghton”, registered in the name of a non-trading company. It was beautifully renovated with expensive furnishings, mostly paid for by companies owned by trusts, in which he is a trustee.

The luxurious furnishings included a diamond bathtub imported from the United Arab Emirates and valued at $19 797 (R354 362) installed in the wife’s en-suite bathroom. Another feature was a crystal chandelier to the value of $54 772.60. The court was also told about several luxury flats in Clifton, Cape Town, and in New York – one valued at R80m and another at R27m.

This was apart from expensive holidays abroad, during which the husband, in happier days, purchased designer label items, including Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, for his wife.

The wife, 54, said she was a housewife. But the husband said she was a football club owner and manager. The parties married in 1994 out of community of property with an ante-nuptial contract, incorporating the accrual system.

Even after the breakdown of the marriage and separation, the husband and their three children lived a lavish lifestyle. The husband rented two apartments – one for R60 000 a month in which he and his teenage son lived and another of R33 000 for his one daughter and her boyfriend, plus holidays abroad.

The husband said his main source of income prior to 2017 was from rendering services to education companies. These companies tendered for contracts with the Education Department for the supply of hardware and a software package. He alleges that this source of work was no longer available to him due to false allegations that the companies were involved in tender rigging.

The husband claimed he was battling to secure work and now provides educational consulting services and has to secure vast loans running into millions to make ends meet. In terms of the husband’s financial disclosures, the judge said the numbers did not add up. He ordered the husband pay the wife R80 000 a month spousal maintenance and contribute R4.5m towards her legal costs.

Pretoria News