Pretoria - A Houghton housewife who turned to court to ensure that she received her pound of flesh from her estranged multimillionaire husband pending their bitter and drawn-out divorce, said that while the R106 800 maintenance he paid her a month was good and well, this amount should keep up with inflation.
She also wanted him to contribute significantly to the legal costs of their divorce battle, a bitter dispute over assets.
The woman, who cannot be identified as the application is part of divorce proceedings, said she believed her husband was hiding some of his assets, among others, in Panama.
The Gauteng High Court, Joburg, earlier ordered that the husband had to pay the wife R106 800 maintenance a month until their divorce was through.
The husband has paid this since December 2016, but he is not happy about it. He is also not happy about upping the amount to keep up with inflation.
Judge Willem van der Linde said in his judgment that it must be accepted that life was in an inflationary environment. There were increases in expenses and this amount of maintenance was the applicant’s (the wife’s) monthly income.
He said that while the husband was against adjusting her maintenance accordingly, the court needed to make an order that this amount was adjusted in accordance with inflation.
“After all, it is her case, which is not seriously disputed by the respondent (the husband) that during the major part of their marriage, in 1989, she was a home executive while he developed into a businessman of considerable force.”
When the couple married, the wife, who holds an academic doctoral degree, owned her own business. Her husband struggled to make ends meet as he operated a filling station. His fortunes, however, changed, when he entered the property market. He became a rich man, the judge said.
The wife had to stay at home and dedicate herself to looking after their two children, who are now adults.
The wife said her husband had assets here and abroad. She claimed that he was hiding some of his assets in companies registered in Panama.
The lion’s share of his assets, the wife said, were probably in the family trust with a value exceeding R400 million. However, he had told her that the trust was off limits to her - an issue that is the subject of another court battle.
The wife said her husband told her during their life together that he has earned hundreds of millions of rands and that his estate was worth between R1billion and R2 bn.
In turning to the R106 800 maintenance a month, the judge ordered that this amount must increase annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index, on each anniversary of the date of this order.
It must also be backdated with effect from January 1, 2017.