The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
BELEAGUERED footballer, Kudakwashe Mahachi’s ex-wife Ms Maritha Ndlovu has won custody of their four-year-old son after the Department of Social Welfare had taken him pending the conclusion of legal proceedings against the embattled footballer.
Mahachi is accused of scalding his son while at his house in South Africa. He is, however, denying any wrongdoing and insists that the child left South Africa in good health. But his ex-wife, the mother of the child, Ms Ndlovu is accusing him of scalding their son with boiling water resulting in him suffering third-degree burns. Part of his foot had to be amputated as a result.
Officials from the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare took the child saying the move was meant to ensure that he can give an independent testimony in the criminal matter which is pending against Mahachi.
The department had also stated that it fears for the safety of the minor child. However, this was challenged by Ms Ndlovu’s lawyers, Coghlan and Welsh who argued that no persuasive reasons were given by the Social Welfare Department as to why it fears for the safety of the minor child while with his mother.
It has since emerged that Ms Ndlovu won back custody of her child after a probation officer’s report, with Bulawayo magistrate, Ms Vivian Ndlovu stating that the report shows nothing that Ms Ndlovu can do that is detrimental to the minor child. The inquiry to go over the probation officer’s report sat last Wednesday at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court.
“The minor child was said to be the child in need of care in terms of Section 2(j) of the Children’s Act by the Social Welfare Department. Court finds that the probation officer’s report shows nothing that the mother has done which is detrimental to the interests of the child. Probation officer’s report states that the child was allegedly injured in the custody of Kudakwashe Mahachi who allegedly assaulted him with a charging cable and scalded him with hot water,” reads the judgment.
In their application, challenging the taking into custody of the minor, Ms Ndlovu’s lawyers had revealed that since removing the minor child from her custody the department had failed, neglected or refused to take him to Mpilo Central Hospital for his weekly reviews, therefore jeopardising the best interest of the child.
“Additionally, since removing the minor child from the custody of the Applicant, on 29 June 2022, the first respondent has denied the applicant access to the minor child and has refused to furnish the applicant with the details of the minor child’s whereabouts. It, therefore, follows that first respondent has neglected the child’s best interests which are paramount in every matter concerning the child. The child is entitled to adequate protection by the court hence I am approaching this court as the upper guardian of children. The circumstances under which the child was removed from my custody by the first respondent have no basis at law. The conduct of the first respondent is therefore illegal,” reads the application.