BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
MATABELELAND South provincial development coordinator Latiso Dlamini has been ordered to pay about half a million Zimbabwe dollars in damages in a case where she was sued for engaging in an adulterous affair with an army general.
Siboniso Lesley Maseko (nee Gumede) filed a lawsuit against Dlamini in December 2019 accusing her of having a love affair with her husband Brigadier General Simo Maseko.
Siboniso, who said their marriage was solemnised in terms of Chapter 5:11 of the Marriages Act on December 20, 1998 claimed $500 000 in damages in her lawsuit.
Dlamini filed opposing papers challenging the lawsuit through her lawyers Dube-Banda, Nzarayapenga and Partners.
In her defence, Dlamini said she was not aware that the army general was married.
Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Maxwell Takuva last week ruled against Dlamini.
“Defendant has not indicated what she considers to be a reasonable and fair award in the circumstances.
“However, defendant has conceded that the level of damages must be in line with previous awards and guides in similar cases,” Takuva said.
“In the circumstances, I find that plaintiff has suffered damages for contummelia in the sum of $200 000 and loss of comfort, society and companionship of her husband in the sum of $200 000.
“Accordingly, it is ordered that the defendant pays to the plaintiff $400 000 being (a) $200 000 damages for contummelia and (b) $200 000 for loss of consortium.
“Interest of 5% per annum from date of summons to date of full payment..”
Siboniso said she discovered that Dlamini and her husband had been seeing each other since 2017.
Court papers show that Maseko had portrayed himself as a divorcee after producing a divorce certificate from a previous marriage.
“Despite knowledge of their marriage and demands for her to discontinue with her adulterous relationship with plaintiff’s husband, the defendant has nonetheless persisted.
“As a result, the plaintiff has suffered damages for contummelia in the sum of $200 000 and loss of comfort, society and companionship of her husband in the sum of $200 000,” the summons read in part.
In her plea, Dlamini argued an adultery lawsuit was outdated.
“The defendant’s starting point is that a claim for damages for adultery is outdated and a strain to the constitutions in the world.
“Defendant listed a number of countries where the claim has been abolished or restricted.”
After Dlamini was sued for adultery damages, Maseko filed a divorce against his wife of 21 years arguing that he had lost affection having been in separation for three years.
In divorce papers before the court, the top soldier said their marriage had irretrievably broken down such that there were no prospects of restoring it to a normal relationship.
During the subsistence of the marriage, the parties acquired both movable and immovable properties, which include two houses located in Bulawayo and Gweru, two cars, a Mazda B1800 and a Forton double cab, 70 cattle, 30 goats and household property.
He wants the property to be distributed equitably in the event that the divorce sails through, 60% market value of the Bulawayo house donated to his daughter with the Gweru property going to his other daughter from a previous marriage.
He wants to retain their Mazda B1800, 55 cows and 20 goats.