Former Energy minister Samuel Undenge has been dragged to the High Court by his daughters Bongai and Kumbirai, who are represented by their mother, seeking to force him to pay their school fees.
According to an urgent chamber application filed on Thursday, Undenge is in default of his obligations to pay fees for the children, who are both at Cape Town University in South Africa.
According to the children’s mother, Angeline, the children have been given notice to vacate the campus accommodation within 72 hours, as they are unable to register for the current semester because Undenge has not paid their fees.
“The respondent (Undenge) is neglecting his responsibility towards the applicants (Bongai and Kumbirai) without reasonable excuse.
“The maintenance court ordered and directed that he should maintain the applicants…,” she said adding that the court ordered him to pay for his children’s fees up to the age of 35.
She said Bongai is a third-year student and apart from her tuition, she requires accommodation, food and medical insurance.
“However, what is obtaining now is that she has not been able to register for the current semester (which has) just commenced because respondent has not paid, actually there is an outstanding balance which has been accruing interest.
“The balance due for payment for the last academic year is R144 261, 26…Because of respondent’s failure to pay the sum highlighted above, the college has now cancelled or withdrawn the housing offer and has now demanded that applicants move out of the college within 72 hours,” she said.
She also said Undenge has acted contemptuously considering that there is a court order demanding him to pay the fees.
“Unless this honourable court otherwise orders respondent to immediately pay, first respondent will suffer irreparable damage to her future. She faces the danger of failing to complete her studies, hence her future is in imminent danger,” she said.
Angeline also said that Undenge has an obligation to pay for Kumbirai’s school fees and other costs and said she had also given him the fees breakdown.
“Then respondent’s wife approached me with a security man threatening me saying she would not allow respondent to pay for foreign university fees for both applicants.
“Thereafter, I got a letter from respondent’s legal practitioners stating that respondent would pay the foreign fees for the first applicant only until she finished her studies but as for second applicant, it stated that he should enrol at any local universities affordable to him,” the court heard.
She said Undenge’s wife later approached her again threatening her.
“She further said she would indeed achieve it (her demands) since she was connected to the most powerful woman in the country. In the course of time, I then received a letter dated 13th of December 2016…respondent was no longer willing to pay for the foreign fees for first applicant despite having undertaken to do so. He made it plainly clear that if he was to pay for second applicant’s fees, he would do so for a local university only since he had other children needing to be assisted when they enrolled into universities,” the court was told.
She said Undenge does not have any children with his fourth wife, whom he is staying with but is paying for his wife’s children from another marriage, one of which is at a European university.
“Thus respondent has the luxury to do the best for another man’s children while he is prescribing his own biological children to such colleges that offer the lowest fees because he suddenly professes that he has no money for them,” Angeline said.
Undenge has not yet responded to the application in the matter still pending before the High Court.