While it is not clear whether they all took him up on the offer, his former partner and mother of a teenage daughter insisted on receiving her child’s share.
When the husband refused to part with a small portion of his R20 million Lotto winnings, the woman, only identified in court papers as MM to safeguard the identity of her 14-year-old daughter, turned to the court.
The Limpopo High Court, sitting in Polokwane, said a promise was a promise, even if it was made via a WhatsApp message, and the father was ordered to pay up. The Judge President of that court, Judge EM Makgoba, remarked that the woman had, in fact, been reasonable.
Earlier, in a settlement agreement regarding maintenance, the father paid her a once-off amount of R100 000 from his pension money.
MM stated in court papers she was not greedy, she simply wanted the R1m promised to her child. She subtracted the R100 000 paid to her previously and revised the amount to the balance of R900 000.
The couple were embroiled in legal proceedings regarding the maintenance of their daughter after the father said at the end of 2015 that his health was deteriorating and he could no longer pay maintenance as he could no longer work.
He promised that once he received his R600 000 pension, he would pay the mother a once-off amount of R100 000, which she accepted.
It later transpired that he was not ill, but that he had resigned because of his windfall.
He paid her the R100 000 in January 2016 but remained tight-lipped that he had won R20.8m six months prior to that. Word, however, got out of his instant wealth.
He boasted about it on social media and said he would give each child R1m and keep R13m. He also said that his working days were finally over as he would “just stay at home”.
MM said she phoned him and asked him whether he had already received the payout. The man lied and said he never won the Lotto.
Later, via WhatsApp, he admitted it and promised her daughter R1m. When confronted about this by MM and asked to pay up, he told her it was all a joke.
The man admitted to the court that he did promise the mother R1m, but said he simply did this “to get rid of her”. According to him, he had paid her the R100 000 as a final maintenance settlement, and he thus did not owe her a cent more.
Judge Makgoba said the man’s demeanour while testifying “left much to be desired”.
“I gained the impression he had something to hide. He is a person who admittedly lied regarding (not) winning the Lotto. He also lied to the court."
The judge ordered him to pay over the money, as promised.