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Leading Banker ‘Mbongeni Dhlamini’ Accuses Wife of Mistreating Children

Leading Banker 'Mbongeni Dhlamini' Accuses Wife of Mistreating Children

Leading Banker Accuses Wife of Mistreating Children

Harare | After she left their marital residence in 2020, banker Mbongeni Dhlamini accused his 15-year-divorced wife of mistreating their two little children.

Dhlamini and his spouse Sizile (née Nyathi), whose divorce is still proceeding, came before Justice Fatima Maxwell after Sizile urgently petitioned the High Court to have her custody restored while the custody dispute was being resolved.

Sizile explained in her founding affidavit that she married Dhlamini in December 2008, and the two of them had two children, in 2009 and 2012.

She claimed they agreed that Mbongeni would access the children on alternative weekends during the term and for half of the school holidays.

Sizile said Dhlamini took the children separately in February and September 2022, and has since refused to restore custody to her and denied her rights of access.

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She further claimed that he had constantly ignored her invitation to negotiate the issues of custody and access.

Sizile also accused Dhlamini of turning the children against her and causing them to be hostile and disrespectful.

Dhlamini disputed that there was an agreement they made on separation, saying he never agreed to anything.

He argued that his wife is not a fit and proper person to be granted custody of their minor children.

He said their kids had difficulties adjusting to a new home, and Sizile subjected them to excessive beatings to scare them from expressing their desire to stay with him.

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Dhlamini said the relationship between the older child and his mother had been so strained that he refuses to visit her.

Their younger child expressed his desire to move back and stay with his father permanently after the August school holiday last year, prompting him to take them back.

He said he does not deny Sizile access to the kids, and had even installed a landline phone at home for her to call them and for them to call her at any time.

Justice Maxwell ruled that because the children had been living with their father for over a year, it would not be in their best interests to move them prior to a determination of the custody issue in the divorce proceedings.

“Close to a year passed before the mother approached the court to reclaim custody.

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“That passage of time is indicative of the fact that she did not see any danger to the children’s welfare posed by their being in their father’s custody, otherwise she would have approached the court soon after the children went into his custody.

“Considering the time that has elapsed since the children left their mother’s custody, I don’t believe it is in their best interest to move them prior to the determination of the custody issue in the divorce proceedings.

“Accordingly, the mother is not entitled to the relief sought,” read part of Justice Maxwell’s judgement.

The application was dismissed with costs.

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