A nasty custody battle between a diplomat and a Polokwane mother looks set to drag on after an emotional court appearance this week.
Pretoria high court judge Pierre Rabie ordered that the child's biological mother return her son to the diplomat‚ who helped raise him. The mother is planning to appeal the judgment‚ said her advocate‚ Eliot Buthane.
This follows an urgent application that was brought by the diplomat on Tuesday‚ seeking the return of the minor to her care. She is due to return to her embassy post soon.
Rabie had to temporarily postpone reading his judgment when the biological mom of the eight-year-old burst into tears and walked out of the courtroom‚ followed by her attorney. He adjourned the case for five minutes‚ after which the mom returned.
According to testimony presented in court‚ the diplomat procured a high court order in September 2015‚ which granted her joint guardianship of the child in terms of Section 24 of the Children's Act. She secured the order because she wanted to take the child with her after she was posted to her ambassador post in 2015.
The court heard that from the time the child was six months old‚ he had been living with the diplomat. However‚ the child had been living with his biological mother since March‚ when the diplomat returned home after a family member fell ill.
The child is believed to have been born from a relationship the diplomat's partner had while he was married to her.
None of the parties can be named in order to protect the child.