Last laugh for fraudulently divorced wife; lawyer husband jailed

13 September 2017 - 15:21 By Sipho Mabena
File Photo of a prison jail cell.
File Photo of a prison jail cell.
Image: Gallo Images/Thinkstock

A prominent Pretoria lawyer thought he was pulling a fast one on his wife when he fraudulently divorced her‚ but she had the last laugh when the plan backfired‚ landing him and his mistress in jail.

Mpho Mofomme‚ 58‚ got his mistress‚ Sebi Moche‚ 48‚ a primary school teacher‚ to pretend to be his wife‚ Marilyn Mofomme‚ and had her served with divorce papers in an attempt to cheat her out of the couple’s valuable joint estate - which includes several properties‚ a trust and a business.

The duo is now serving three-year jail terms each for fraud in a dramatic case that dragged for almost a decade.

“I am just glad that this whole thing is over and that my crooked husband and his mistress‚ who destroyed my marriage‚ are finally paying for the unimaginable suffering they have cost me‚” Marilyn told TimesLIVE on Wednesday.

In August 2015 the Ga-rankuwa Magistrate’s Court found the lovebirds guilty of fraud and sentenced them to eight years in prison each.

The duo was granted leave to appeal the sentence and successfully lobbied the Mafikeng High Court to reduce the sentences to five years - two of which were suspended - for Mofomme and three years for Moche.

Last month they failed to convince the Supreme Court of Appeal to overturn the sentences‚ resulting in Mofomme swapping his lawyer's gown for orange overalls.

“I was married to this man for 25 years but he tried to pull a rug under my feet. His mistress lived in my house in Hartbeespoort‚ she drove around in my cars and colluded with my husband to get rid of me. Who is having the last laugh now?” she said.

The drama started in late 2011 when a friend at a funeral approached Mofomme's wife‚ consoling her on their divorce. Stunned‚ she went to check with the Ga-rankuwa Magistrate’s Court where it was confirmed that she was indeed divorced.

In January 2011 Ga-rankuwa sheriff Refiloe Moeletsi received a letter from Mofomme Attorneys‚ instructing the sheriff's office to serve summons on Mofomme's wife.

The sheriff's office called a number provided and Moche answered‚ pretending to be Mrs Marilyn Mofomme.

Armed with a fraudulent ID bearing Marilyn’s face‚ Moche went on to collect the summons to finalise the divorce.

Marilyn has since rescinded the divorce and is now divorcing her jailed husband.