A disgruntled man is demanding that the 12 cattle he paid as Lobola (Bride Price) be returned after discovering that six children he thought were his were fathered by another man.
Elmon Magalela Mndzawe from Ndvwabangeni in the Hhohho region in Swaziland has taken his wife Dolly Matsaba to court seeking an order directing her family to return the cattle he had paid as bride price. He also wants an order nullifying their Swazi customary marriage. Mndzawe alleged before court that he got married to Matsaba after which children were born, but it later turned out that all six had been fathered by another man.
He claimed that after a long time in their marriage, another man’s family came to claim all the children as theirs. Mndzawe was represented by lawyer Sipho Gumedze in the case that was before High Court Judge Mumcy Dlamini. Mndzawe led oral evidence and claimed that after the other family had emerged, the case was reported to his chiefdom for deliberations as it had allegedly turned out that Matsaba had previously been married to another man.
“I have been maintaining and supporting the six children thinking they are mine, yet they are not. I can’t be feeding another man’s children,” Mndzawe said.
He alleged that the matter, when deliberated at chiefdom level, it was directed that their marriage should be dissolved. Mndzawe said that he claimed his cattle, but Matsaba’s family had failed to heed his demand, hence his application before the High Court.
In her response, Matsaba, who did not have legal representation denied that all the children did not belong to Mndzawe. She admitted that only the first born was fathered by another man and alleged that Mndzawe was aware of it. She said that she even told the chiefdom during deliberations, that only five of the children belonged to Mndzawe.
“I got married to you while pregnant and delivered already staying at our marital home and you were aware that the child was not yours,” Matsaba said.
However, Mndzawe denied that only the first born had been fathered by another man. He claimed that he had witnesses who would be called to testify in court that the all the children were not his. Matsaba also denied that she had been married to another man. The matter was postponed to the next session for continuation.