Divorce turns ugly as wife demands R12m, husband threatened by underworld
The wife of a Durban heart surgeon is not prepared to accept her husband’s divorce application unless it is done on her terms.
The woman, also a specialist doctor at a leading local hospital, has allegedly hired members of the “underworld” to ensure her husband acceded to her R12million payout claim and other demands.
The husband said he was threatened by underworld operatives, including a harrowing phone call from a man named “Pablo”, last weekend.
His legal team, attorney Anesh Maharaj and advocate Rithy Singh, brought an urgent application before the Durban High Court this week to restrict the wife’s communication with their client and prevent her associates from harassing and threatening him.
Judge Esther Steyn handled the matter.
According to court documents, the husband said in 2017 he and his wife experienced “marital problems and he was asked to “vacate the matrimonial home”, which he did.
A few months later, he instituted divorce proceedings and relief from trusts of which his wife was a trustee.
His wife defended the action.
A pre-trial conference was arranged by the husband’s lawyers in March, and the woman was represented by the new law firm she had engaged. While the husband expected the divorce action to take its course, it didn’t.
While he was on holiday on the South Coast with his parents and two minor children, in April, he received a call from a friend.
The businessman told him he had received a call from a security company boss who was contacted by people in the underworld in Cape Town, and had asked the businessman to stay away from the husband because he was “trouble”. The businessman he was also told to “assault and coerce” the doctor into settling the divorce action.
On another occasion, the security boss told the businessman there was “a price” on the husband’s head.
In May, the husband’s lawyers proposed a settlement to his wife’s representatives, but they got no response.
They were eventually informed that the wife’s legal team had withdrawn from the matter.
His lawyers then made an application to have the wife’s claim struck off and they filed a new claim.
Last month, the husband met the security boss’ brother, who worked for the businessman. At the meeting, he was told that his wife was going to be charged with fraud because she owed R12m to a medical aid.
Therefore, she needed R12m from him because, as her husband, he enjoyed the benefits of the money she earned through fraudulent claims.
The husband, through the businessman, requested a meeting with the security boss who confirmed his wife had close connections with the underworld, especially Pablo.
The security boss told the husband he had previously worked as his wife’s debt collector to collect sums of R1m and R100 000 respectively. He was also informed his wife donated money to “soup kitchens” operated by Pablo.
Judge Steyn granted the interim order and the matter was set down for October.