Child custody dispute

Portia Mlilo
ATTORNEYS: Sikhakhane and Tamocha

Furious father lays contempt of court charge on defiant baby mama

A frustrated father who cannot see his child as and when the court has allowed him to has dragged the mother of the baby to court for contempt.

Sakhile Arnold Sikhakhane summoned Talitha Ruele to the Gaborone High Court last week Friday to explain why she wouldn’t let the child spend time with his father as per the court’s ruling.

The pair broke up in July 2023 and started fighting over their one-year-old child. On September 27th, 2023, Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo granted Sikhakhane unimpeded access to his child and ruled that the baby could stay at his father’s house every three days of the week.

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However Sikhakhane told the court that contrary to the court’s ruling he was denied access to the child and that the last time he saw him was on the 6th of December 2023.

He said that from the 18th to the 21st of August 2023 he travelled to South Africa for a church event called ‘Mokete’. The trip was followed by a religious practice, known as ‘go ilela’ in Setswana which apparently forbids involvement in a conflict for about a week after the event which is why he couldn’t get in touch with the mother of his baby back then, but shortly after the end of go ilela period, at the end of August, Sikhakhane asked to see the child and was denied access.

“During that week, I avoided talking to my baby mama because she is confrontational. We had an argument prior to my departure about my son’s visitation rights She had imposed a condition that for me to see the child, she must accompany him to my house.”

In her defence Ruele argued that Sikhakhane was rude to her and her parents and she has therefore blocked his calls on her mobile phone.

Meanwhile Sikkhakhane’s attorney who is also his father, Herbert Sikhakhane told the court that on January,23rd, 2024 he wrote a letter to Ruele’s lawyer, Kagisano Tamocha to advise his client to adhere to the court order.

He said their response was that they were aware that they are threatening to go to court for contempt and warned them that the charge was going to be vigorously defended.

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Justice Nyamadzabo will deliver the ruling for contempt on the 19th of March.

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