Soldier drags married junior to court for marriage wrecking
A Botswana Defence Force soldier was this week fined eight cattle for wrecking his senior’s marriage.
Mogoditshane customary court convicted Lance Corporal Oemelenna Galeemelwe from Rakops of wrecking Corporal Oduetse Matlhola’s marriage on the basis of incriminating text messages presented in court.
At first Matlhola had demanded P60, 000 as compensation from his colleague but the court advised that the amount was beyond their jurisdiction.
Matlhola told the court that he had decided on the amount based on the costs that he incurred to marry his wife which were eight cows for ‘lobola’ each costing P3, 500 and a sheep commonly known as ‘Mokwele’ valued at P4, 000 plus other costs such as the P15, 000 she gave the wife’s family for wedding preparations.
However, Chief Tswina Mochudi reminded the aggrieved soldier that the case was not about marriage expenses but rather about marriage wrecking, and therefore ordered Galeemelwe to pay only eight cows each valued at P2, 000.
The court instructed the junior officer to pay the, P16 000 in four months or risk having his property auctioned to settle the bill.
Taking the court through the details, Matlhola said he married his wife, Tumelo Matlhola in October 30th, 2018.
Last year October he noticed some changes in his wife’s behavior as she no longer respected him and often left him with the couple’s two children to look after while she went on unexplained trips.
He further revealed to the court that it had become a habit for his wife to either switch off her phone or not answer his calls at all when she was away from home.
“She later started to avoid having sex with me. She also stopped household chores such as laundry and cooking and bathing the children as those now started to be my duties.”
He said that after he realised his wife was cheating on him with his colleague because of text messages, he read the messages to her and she did not deny being in a relationship with Galeemelwe and promised to end the affair so he forgave her.
However Matlhola decided to sue for marriage wrecking when a few months later he found fresh incriminating messages on the woman’s phone from the same guy.
“One of the messages showed me that Galeemelwe was having sex with my wife without using protection because he was asking her if she wasn’t pregnant. I then decided to take the matter before Galeemelwe’s bosses and before my wife’s parents and now we are here,” said the frustrated Matlhola.
In his defence, 29-year-old Galeemelwe claimed he was not wrecking Matlhola’s marriage, but rather having an affair with the woman’s niece. Galeemelwe’s story was however discredited after it turned out the niece in question was a boarding student who was at school at the time when the cheating couple was caught.
In the end the chief ruled that since Galeemelwe did not deny sending messages through Matlhola’s wife cellphone, he should pay for marriage wrecking charges.
After completion of the case both married soldiers who did not bring along their wives went out through different court gates.