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Mon Nov 24 22:01:15 SAST 2014

'Uncaring' benefactor

MHLABUNZIMA MEMELA and THANDO MGAGA | 12 February, 2013 00:26
TTP5PAPGELD12-11-02-2013-18-02-04-20-.jpg
Thabo Mhlongo's daughter, Nana, has accused her father of withholding maintenance despite donating R1-million to the ANC at a fundraising dinner recently

A multimillionaire ANC benefactor has allegedly dodged making maintenance payments for five years and is said to owe one of his children almost R200000 in arrears.

KwaZulu-Natal businessman Thabo Mhlongo last month pledged R1-million at an ANC gala dinner in Durban.

This has left his daughter, Nana Mhlongo, who abandoned her studies because of her father's alleged failure to pay maintenance, fuming.

Nana, 27, yesterday said it was "sad" that her father could display such largesse while his children battled to get an education.

She now wants her father to settle his maintenance arrears totalling, she said, R181200.

"I had to drop out of school because there was just no money," said Nana, who wants to complete a diploma in marketing.

In October 2007, the Howick Magistrate's Court ordered Mhlongo to pay Nana maintenance of R3700 a month.

Mhlongo has allegedly made only 22 payments, totalling R55600 - and is said to have often paid much less than the stipulated monthly R3700.

A court maintenance report shows that Mhlongo's last payment was in November 2010.

Mhlongo owns antique shops in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. He restores and sells antiques.

He also owns office furniture shops, Ishnana Mining Resources, Ishnana Hybrid Control System and Umkhonto Recyclers.

In 2005, Mhlongo signed a R230-million deal with Italian furniture manufacturer Fratelli Costantini to produce quality furniture for the international market.

Nana said she was forced to work as a maid at a Johannesburg brothel in 2010 to earn a living.

"He made fun of me when he came to see me at the brothel.

"All he could say was, 'Everything will come right. I also started like this'.

"But I still love him. He is my father," she said. When contacted for comment Mhlongo said: I am going abroad you can write whatever you want".

Nana and her 19-year-old brother, Ishmael, are Mhlongo's children by his first marriage.

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