Toxic couple wash dirty linen in public

Portia Mlilo
HAPPY TIMES: The Hlongwanes



Sordid details of a breaking marriage came tumbling out as a divorcing couple traded accusations and counter accusations about each other in an interview with The Voice.

Justifying his decision to end the 14-year marriage, Philane Hlongwane, 49, said trouble started in 2011when his wife got a job as a court interpreter at Masunga Magistrates Court.

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“She started having affairs with her new colleagues and neglecting the family,” he claimed.

Fed up with his wife’s ‘loose ways’, Philani filed for divorce last year February, citing infidelity as his main reason.

“She said I was no longer her type. I then found incriminating messages from men of different professions, mostly police officers, prison warders and lawyers she met while on duty at court. Even the lawyer who is representing her in this divorce case is her boyfriend,” said the angry husband.

Philane further claimed that when he tried to reach out to his wife’s parents for reconciliation, they accused him of abusing her.

Unashamedly admitting to the abuse, he said, “She would switch off her phone, come home late and I would discipline her by beating her but she never reported to the police because she knew she was cheating. In 2003 another man impregnated her but we got married after two years because she gave me the impression that she had learnt her lesson and had changed. But now I just want this marriage to be over!”

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For her part, 39-year-old Portia Hlongwane from Jakalas No 1 accused her husband of being a fraudster who married her to obtain Botswana citizenship.

Portia described her husband as abusive, possessive and a control freak. His jealousy, Portia said, became worse when she started working.

The mother-of-four also dismissed his claims that she was a ‘serial cheat’ as rubbish.

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“He has always been a violent person, attacking me in front of the children and insulting me. I have suffered physical and emotional abuse for the sake of our four kids. There was a time when he suggested I quit my job and I refused. Towards the end of 2018 he told me that since he had gotten what he had wanted, which is citizenship, he was ready to divorce and marry a woman from his home country, Zimbabwe. Although our marriage was sour I was hoping things would change back to normal but last year he served me with divorce papers. He is frustrated because he thought this divorce was going to destroy me but I remain strong,” said Portia.

Judge Moesi of Francistown High Court will deliver divorce judgment next week Friday.

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