Groom says no to ‘abusive’ bride

CONCERNED: Emmanuel Diteko

‘Scared’ groom cancels wedding 2 weeks before the big day

A 32-year old young man has cancelled his wedding 14 days before the set date, citing abuse and domestic violence as the reason.

Publicly announcing his decision to call off the wedding and end his customary marriage before Maun Customary Court on Tuesday, Emmanuel Diteko said that he could not go into an abusive marriage knowingly because his bride-to be, Bogadi Gaokwalwe, had on more than two occasions physically attacked and inflicted body injuries on him.

Groom says no to 'abusive' bride
HEARTBROKEN: Bogadi Gaokwalwe

“It shows that what she is bringing to this marriage is not love but abuse and I won’t go into an abusive marriage,” Diteko explained.

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Presenting bloody images of his recent injuries, which he said he sustained when his wife stabbed him with a knife, Diteko added, “Our marriage has been ruined and our wedding day cancelled because of her violent actions which threatened my life. She almost finished me off with a knife.”

Diteko was summoned to court by his wife, who was demanding compensation over wasted time and broken marriage promise.

In his defence, he added, “Had she not shown me her violent side, I would have married her.”

The two had originally planned to wed in September, but the nuptials were postponed to November allegedly due to their constant fights, and eventually totally cancelled.

Turning the tables on his traditionally married wife, Diteko expressed his intentions to counter-sue for wasted time.

Among the demands he put forth was to be refunded the P12,000 he paid as bride price, a cow (kgomo ya tlhagela), a goat his family paid to show gratitude to the bride’s family, and for his wedding suit.

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“I want them because I did not marry. I was in the process of marrying her but she spoiled all that by threatening to kill me, so I pulled back as it shows the woman was on a mission to end my life,” he lamented.

Groom says no to 'abusive' bride

Diteko was trying to escape from a case laid against him by Gaokwalwe, who claimed that the fights began after revelations that her husband was cheating on her and had kept a child that he had with somebody else a secret.

Allegedly soon after he paid bogadi, the mother of Diteko’s love child phoned to complain and Gaokwalwe overheard the conversation.

“I overheard her saying, ‘I heard that you are getting married, but that cannot happen.’ What about the child you have with me?’”

This conversation, according to the jilted bride-to-be, is what led to the physical abuse.

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Another worrisome incident that was discussed in court involved a broomstick attack.

The man allegedly asked Gaokwalwe to clean the house and, when she delayed, he reportedly grabbed a broomstick and beat her until it broke.

The court heard that in the heat of the moment, she went outside to sharpen a knife, which she then aimed at her husband.

In an attempt to stop her, he grabbed the knife by the blade and, in the process of pulling it away, she caused a deep cut that almost severed his thumb from the rest of the hand.

However, Kgosi Mogalakwe ruled that the fight was not a valid excuse for Diteko to call off the wedding because, according to customary law, he was already married and the white wedding was just going to be a celebration of the couple’s union.

“That’s undermining our tradition! I have never heard anyone making such demands,” pointed out Mogalakwe before further noting, “It is clear that you two are husband and wife, married in accordance with the customary law, so you cannot come here and tell us you were still in the process of marriage, she is your lawfully wedded wife and your fights cannot be reason enough to cancel your white wedding.”

Condemning gender-based violence in the same breath, Mogalakwe noted that even though he did not have full information of the couple’s knife attack, he believes the woman was acting in self-defence as the man was hitting her.

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“We hate and condemn gender-based abuse in all its entirety and, besides, that injury issue is a police case as you have stated, so it cannot influence the outcome of the matter before us,” concluded Mogalakwe.

In the end, the chief ruled that what Diteko was demanding was a divorce and therefore he must pay his wife two live cattle or P4,000 as compensation for breaking his marriage. The fine is payable within the next two months.

Both parties were given 30 days to appeal and Diteko said he was definitely going to appeal the judgment.

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