“She stole my kids!”
An alienated father pleads with his ex to return his daughters.
It is sad to see two people who once loved each other fighting so bitterly, especially when children are involved. Upon seeing a Facebook page of a father pleading with his ex-wife to bring his daughters back I decided to find out what the matter was- children do not deserve to suffer. This is what Kwanele, the father, had to say.
What happened between you and your ex-wife?
My wife and I divorced in 2008 and we got joint custody of the kids. Between October and November 2010 she completely refused to give me access to the kids regardless of the court order. In November 2010 I did a variation order of the divorce order and that lasted five days and I was given joint custody with a seven day rotation where one parent would have seven days with the kids the one week and seven days the next week and that lasted 10 weeks on my side. She then took the kids out of schools and disappeared with them for two months in 2011 so they missed school for two months. We could not find her and the kids and the police threatened to arrest her mother and the kids emerged. I then appointed a forensic psychologist wanting to find out why she was doing this; she went to the sessions twice and never went again.
Did you have an ugly divorce?
It was terrible, it was ugly.
Where are the kids now?
On the 22nd February 2012 she came to the kid’s school and maintained that she has spoken to high profile people and she needs her kids, the kids were released into her care. She went to the media as well and confirmed that she has the backing of high profile people supporting her in her case. That is when she vanished with the kids and I have not seen her and the kids since then.
Why do you feel the need to fight?
We are made out to be sperm donors as fathers and the Children’s Act supports that fathers be active in their children’s lives but society refuses to let fathers play an active parenthood role. I think women have given themselves the role as if it is their sole responsibility. I am pushing for these rights and as a black man I am trying all I can to give my kids the life they deserve. I have alerted home affairs at the borders to be on the lookout so that she does not cross the borders with my children. There is a warrant of arrest out for her.
Is your ex-wife working?
She is a doctor by profession and when she does these things she leaves everything and disappears. There is a worry that she is not mentally well but we cannot prove that and she refused to submit herself to anything that would prove that.
Are you getting the help from the law?
While there is a warrant of arrest for her she went to report that I was threatening her. I have interim sole custody, she was not arrested. She went to the police and she said to them I wanted to kill her and the children which is not true.
What do the kids want?
The courts have decided that I get interim sole custody. I heard that when she came to fetch the kids they cried and did not want to go with the mother. The schools are also geared towards supporting the moms and they are not used to fathers taking care of their children and as a result, they released my kids to her. They never imagined that a mom can do this- this is part of the bias and now that they see it happening they believe it. The fact that she is a medical doctor makes her case stronger and she leverages on that and gets people’s attention.
What is her family saying?
Her mom supports her fully.
Do you think she is fighting the divorce through the kids?
That is it, there is no other way. I can speculate that she wants her marriage back and if that does not happen she wants me destroyed and to have no contact with the children? She knows I love my kids and is using them to fight the divorce. I could have walked away but I choose not to. I want to be an active father despite of all that has happened. My youngest daughter turned 6 years on the 8th May and I have never shared a birthday with her. When I walk away she will come back one day and say “your father has walked away from you”. Unfortunately there seems to be no end in sight?
What were the circumstances around your divorce?
You always give the reasons “irreconcilable differences” but the long and short of it is that I committed a grave mistake. I fathered a child out of wedlock and that was the catalyst. I am not belittling the mistake, it cost me dearly but there is no justification that she should use the kids. Punish me and not the kids. I tried apologising and she lost it but at some point sanity must prevail. I was never a bad father to my kids
The cheaper option would have been to leave everything, get married again and move on with my life and forget about her and the kids but I do not want that. We can never reconcile, we have gone beyond repairs. She is being evil, it’s nothing else but pure evil.
Read more by Masanda Peter
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Do you think dads tend to get a raw deal from the system when it comes to issues of custody?