A second wife who wanted to live a life of luxury at the expense of her polygamist husband had her application dismissed by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
The wife brought an application before the court, seeking R127,122.51 in spousal maintenance, and almost R20,000 for each of the couple’s two children.
From April 2019, the couple lived together with their children in Glen Eagle Estate.
The husband covered all monthly costs including R30,000 rent, children’s school fees, groceries, and also paid the domestic worker R4,500.
Meanwhile, the wife managed her salary independently.
He divided his time between the two wives, he spent some nights with his first wife in Boksburg.
Some time in March 2023, he moved the second wife and his two children to an affordable and smaller house in Glen Marais where he now pays R9,500 in rent.
Even after divorce proceedings were instituted in May 2023, he continued with the monthly payments, covering the rent, school fees, their medical fees, R15,500 maintenance for both children, and R4,500 for the domestic worker.
Unhappy with the husband’s contribution and size of the new house, the wife approached the high court to claim more money and possibly get bigger accommodation.
The court heard that she is employed in the office of the Public Service Commission and has a monthly salary of over R17,800.
On top of what she earns, among other things, she mentioned that she needed R20,000 for clothing and shoes for herself, R45,000 pocket money, as well as R20,000 to buy gifts.
She argued that the husband introduced her to a lavish lifestyle and she wanted to maintain that lifestyle.
Acting judge Kganki Phahlamohlaka looked at the wife’s demands and said it was unclear why additional maintenance was needed, and why she cannot survive with her salary.
He said the wife complains about the size of the new house, but she does not explain why the smaller house is not suitable, except to say they previously lived in a house where the husband was paying R30,000 for rent.
“Much of the quantum of maintenance the wife claims for herself is for entertainment and luxury ... The evidence that she presents in support of her case does not match the exorbitant amount of money that the husband used to give to her.
“I find that the wife failed to make out a case for the relief sought in the notice of motion in respect of spousal maintenance, and therefore, that application should fail,” said judge Phahlamohlaka.
The judge dismissed the wife’s application and ordered the husband to continue handling the payments as he had.