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ABANDONED: Balete Morwalela

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He can’t leave me now

Jilted mother of nine demands support

Cutting a lonely and dejected figure as she left the Kgotla, a mother of nine struggled to come to terms with the overwhelming task of taking care of her many children alone.

Balete Morwalela, 37 had approached Shashe customary court in Maun in an attempt to force estranged baby daddy, Gaopalelwe Mukena, 44 to help her raise the children.

He did not show up!

Disappointed and frustrated, Morwalela narrated her heartbreaking story outside court. Describing how Mukena abandoned his family and moved in with another woman, she said.

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“You would be saddened to see the state of the children’s poverty, yet their father is working. Their clothes have hardened like cardboard due to dirt and I am reduced to a beggar.”

The unemployed woman added that hunger, poverty and the emotional stress of watching her children crammed inside her small hut, with an absent father had even forced her to give away two of the children to relatives and one to a teacher to help her raise them.

“There is one that stays with a school teacher who requested to take care of him. He is a bright student but the appalling conditions at home caused the sympathetic teacher to take in the child and I thank God for that.”

“It is not easy at all but what pains me the most is that the man who made me pregnant every two years has deserted us. He abandoned us when we needed him the most and moved in with an older woman with whom he does not have children. That is where he takes all his money,” Morwalela added.

However what has traumatised Morwalela the most is the fact that Mukena shunned the use of condoms throughout their relationship.

“He did not want to give me breathing space, Monday to Friday, everyday he wanted to make a baby, but now he has abandoned the innocent children, “ said Morwalela further explaining that she had brought the matter to the customary court so that the man would be called to order and be forced to take responsibility of his children.

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“And where does he think I will find another man with all these children. He just has to return to me?” She asked.

Meanwhile Morwalela has registered a maintenance case with Maun Magistrate Court in a matter to be heard next month.

Contacted for comment, the children’s father said his relationship with Morwalela was “too sweet, but it ended because she cheated with another man.”

He denied that he had neglected his children and argued that he too was struggling to make ends meet.

“When I can I do buy them food, like recently I bought P300 worth of grocery and sent to them. What I see is that the woman does not want to let go but I have moved on.”

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