BTC LAWYER FINED FOR MARRIAGE WRECKING
A Botswana Telecommunications (BTC) lawyer’s saucy text messages to another man’s wife came back to haunt him when he was fined P40, 000 for marriage wrecking.
36-year-old Papiso Batshegi Makwati has just one month to hand over the cash – or alternatively eight cows – to Leatile Dintwe, 35, after he was found guilty of ruining the younger man’s one-year marriage.
Should Makwati fail to comply with the court ruling and pay within a month, his property will be confiscated and sold to cover the debt.
Appearing before Mogoditshane Kgotla on Thursday, the dreadlocked defendant was told that his relationship with a BTC co-worker Naledi Dintwe, 30, was the cause of her failed marriage.
It could have been much worse for Makwati, as the angry husband had initially demanded P299, 000 compensation, which he claimed was the amount he had invested in his short marriage.
During the hearing, Leatile produced a printout of numerous intimate phone conversations between Naledi and Makwati as evidence of their love for each other.
The aggrieved claimant revealed that his soon-to-be ex-wife and her work colleague went on business trips to Namibia and Lesotho together. He is adamant that is when their illicit liaison started.
Despite the damning proof of the text messages, the accused denied being romantically involved with Naledi, insisting he only conversed with her to advise and assist her on filing for divorce.
“Leatile long demanded that I should pay him outside court for wrecking his marriage. I refused and reported him before G-west police instead as I thought he wants to swindle my hard earned cash through false pretence, but no case was opened against him,” he said, adding that, out of spite, he once lied to Leatile and pretended that Naledi had slept at his house when in fact she had not.
Bearing witness for the accused home-wrecker and her alleged lover, Naledi claimed her marriage had long broken down before Makwati came on the scene.
Painting a picture of an unhappy marriage, Naledi told court, “Our divorce is in its final stage now.
We are left with only six weeks for the marriage to be annulled. Leatile is an abusive man and has always been an abusive man in marriage.”
She further claimed that Leatile regularly used to mock her, calling her ‘moopa’, which loosely translates as unfertile woman, who is unable to have children.
However, the argument failed to convince presiding judge, Chief Alfred Dihutso, who found Makwati guilty of marriage wrecking.
He ruled that the customary court could not impose a P229, 000 penalty and so fined the defendant P40, 000 instead.
After the judgement, Naledi and Makwati drove off together whilst Leatile left with his parents, P40 grand richer but minus a wife.