“I am accused of killing their mother but I want custody of my children”
In a bitter court battle, a man accused of strangling his wife to death allegedly in front of his children has lost his child custody case to the mother of the deceased.
The court ruled that the grandmother of the two children, Gabogaisane Kgwebe be granted temporary custody of the two children, aged 13 and 17 respectively.
A court order delivered by Justice Omphemetse Motumisi has stated that, “pending the final determination of this matter, temporary custody of the minor children, a 17 -year old boy and a 13 –year- old girl (names known to this publication) is hereby granted to Gabogaisane Kgwebe, the maternal grandmother of the aforesaid children.”
The order continued to read in part that, “the ‘killer’ father; Mokganedi Galeboe shall continue to pay P 1, 000.00 maintenance for the children through their uncle.”
It further stated that, “The court shall interview the children on the 19th July 2018 to enable it to make the final determination on their custody/guardianship.”
Galeboe, 56, from Block 5 in Francistown allegedly strangled his wife, Segomotso Galeboe, 36, following a heated argument that resulted into death in May 2016.
In his defense in court papers filed through his lawyers, Galeboe stated that it was a fact that he was being accused of having murdered his wife.
“It is further true from the papers filed of the record that there are communication restrictions (In the form of bail conditions) between Galeboe and his two minor children,” court papers have indicated.
“It is submitted that even when the Respondent (Galeboe) has been accused of murder, he remains the children’s biological father and it is not in the best interest of the children that ties between him and his minor children be severed permanently in the manner that the applicant (Grandmother) seeks to do,” read his arguments, further stating that by so doing it would render him a useless father.
For her part, The grandmother of children through her lawyers, Mokgabo Thobega of Duma Boko and Co attorneys has argued that Galeboe’s criminal case was yet to be heard by the High Court and in the meantime his bail conditions did not allow him to have contact with the minor children as they were state witnesses.
They further argued that “The best interests of the minor children necessitates that their grandmother, the Applicant (Grandmother) with whom they live, be granted guardianship of the minor children until a time as the court may deem fit. By separating guardianship from custody, the Court would in essence be giving the Applicant (Grandmother) a vehicle but withholding the keys to drive it.”
Custody case is back in court on August 24th while the case in which Galeboe is accused of murdering his wife is yet to be heard before the court.