*80-year-old granddad dumps wife for young flame *Kids block their father’s wedding to his ‘mistress’
A love struck Dibete Headman got the shock of his long life last Wednesday morning when a District Commissioner reminded him that there was no way he could marry his young lover until he goes to the High Court to annul his previous marriage.
80-year-old Tshegetsang Malaki and his mistress of 34 years, Mmantsho Mmelesi, 52, were stopped dead in their tracks and their plan to marry in community of property thwarted by Malaki’s furious children.
Like the biblical Peter, Malaki denied knowing his wife three times in front of the Mahalapye DC.
In an exclusive interview with The Voice, the family’s spokesperson Fridah Malaki, 45, revealed they received a tip-off from friends that their absent father intended to marry his long-term lover.
According to the young Malaki, their father, who is a also a Bishop at Christ Rumilwe Apostolic Church In Zion, walked out on the family in 1983, leaving behind 11 children and a heartbroken wife.
“He never cared for us as a father should,” she claims.
“Now today he wants to further humiliate my mother by marrying another woman while still legally married to her. We can’t allow that to happen,” insists the fiery Fridah.
The jilted wife, who has been lying quietly on a metal bench sits up straight and sighs heavily.
Seleseng Malaki, 73, then bares her soul to The Voice.
Casting her mind back to happier times, Seleseng recalls how she gave birth to her first child in 1963 before eventually marrying Malaki five years later in Mookane.
“We had 11 children together but today only seven remain,” she says sadly.
She explains everything was well in the family until one fateful morning in 1983 when her husband left his matrimonial home under the guise of going to look for a job.
“When he left he took the marriage certificate. He told me the certificate may boost his chances of getting a better job as employers usually preferred married couples,” narrates Seleseng.
“That was the last time the kids and I saw him. He only returned once in a while to bury one of our kids,” she continues dejectedly.
Seleseng says she is not shocked to learn that her husband was planning to marry another woman as he has long abandoned his family.
“I raised my kids alone and that is why today they are standing by me. They saw me struggle to put food on the table while their uncaring father was taking care of another woman.
“However, with advice from my children, I intend to take this woman to court for marriage wrecking,” she vows.
Asked if she thinks there’s still a chance to reconcile with her husband, Seleseng shakes her head and says, “It’s over my child – I’ve been alone for too long. He denied knowing me in public.”
The young Malaki nods in enthusiastic agreement and adds that they lost hope of their father returning long ago.
“My father is old. He can do whatever he wants with his life, but first he must give my mother what rightfully belongs to her. They married in community of property and whatever he owns equally belongs to my mother,” she says.
Fridah suspects her father’s mistress is getting worried that should the old man die, his discarded wife will still have a legitimate claim to his estate.
Reached for comment, the unapologetic Malaki said he wants nothing to do with his children and their mother.
“Those people are evil. They have tormented me enough I just want to move on with my life,” he replied.
Malaki claimed the children and their mother physically abused him before he made the decision to leave them.
“I look forward to the court case. I want this marriage annulled quickly so I can marry again,” he said, the look of a love-struck teenager burning brightly in his old eyes.