Threats to take all causes woman’s angry partner to revoke court order
A bickering old couple has reconciled after the woman threatened to reduce the old man to poverty unless he revoked a restraining court order obtained against her.
The old couple from Mawana cattle post outside the tourism town of Maun appeared before Maun magistrate court where the woman was made to understand the seriousness of the court order and its meaning.
The 57- year- old woman, Oganne Dikeledi however told the court on Tuesday that she was going to return to the old man’s homestead and take every livestock and movable property they accrued together for the past 21 years that they had lived together.
Boikaego Kebaitsang, 76 had taken Dikeledi to court over abusive behavior and was granted a restraining order.
In court, Kebaitsang was represented by Legal Aid Botswana.
Through his attorney, Kebaitseng said that he was not living in peace with Dikeledi because he was in the habit of hurling insults at him and sometimes physically abusing him.
However, outside court, Dikeledi said it was unfortunate that her long-time partner was the one to kick her out even though in actual fact he was the abuser.
She even had the scars to show, which she said would remain a permanent reminder of the bittersweet relationship she shared with Kebaitsang.
“RragweK (Kebaitsang) you made a blunder because what it means is that I am going to take all the animals, the goats, donkeys, and chickens including the donkey carts. You will be left with nothing,” She said before adding that, “I do not understand why you had to do it because I am the one bearing scars.”
In response to her threats Kebaitsang said that he did not want his lover to leave anymore, “Since the restraining order, she has been such a humble woman, the wife I know.
I did not mean to kick her out but to stop her from disrespecting me.
It is a tricky case because we share everything, our cattle post, we built the huts together, we stayed together for the past 21 years and she is my only wife and she will win everything because my share will only be a few donkeys.”
However Kebaitseng said for some nights during those 21 years, his lover would throw tantrums, lock him outside and cause him to spend the night sitting on a chair, “Even when I beg or the children tell her to open for me she would just say “fotsek” but I still love her and want to stay with her.”
The two elderly people believe that since they have stayed together for so long, they qualify as husband and wife.
However a Family law expert, Uyapo Ndadi explained that such a belief is false and misleading.
“There is that common belief in Botswana that when people have stayed together for over five years, they automatically become husband and wife, but there is no such thing. No marriage occurs because people have stayed together for a certain period of time. Marriage can only be done by customary law and or marriage Act,” explained Ndadi.
To avoid conflict over property when a relationship ends, Ndadi said unmarried couples could create a universal partnership to put their assets and liabilities, which can be dissolved accordingly upon the termination of the relationship. Such a partnership can be done in court.”