Dad has more than R300,000 taken from pension fund for maintenance arrears

15 February 2019 - 06:38 By Naledi Shange
The Public Protector offers a free service to help those struggling to collect maintenance for their children.
The Public Protector offers a free service to help those struggling to collect maintenance for their children.
Image: Russell Roberts

Somewhere in the Western Cape, a father who dodged paying maintenance for years is more than R300,000 poorer.

This after the money was docked from his pension fund.

In a statement on Thursday, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office said the father had ignored a court order stating he should support his child and, now, more than a quarter of a million has been taken from his pension fund to cover years of outstanding child support payments and future maintenance costs.

Mkhwebane’s office said it had decided to step in after the mother complained that the Government Pension Administration Agency (GPAA) had failed to comply with maintenance court orders to pay the amount from the father’s pension fund.

“On 18 September 2012, the court granted an order for the attachment of up to R40,000 of the defaulting father’s pension fund held at the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF). The order was sent to the GEPF the same day it was granted, with a requirement for GEPF to pay the amount concerned by 31 October 2012. This was not complied with,” the statement read.

“On 2 September 2015, another order was granted for the attachment of the outstanding arrears, which took the total amount due to the mother to R72,000. This order too was not complied with.

“On 16 November 2016, a third order was granted for the attachment of outstanding arrears of R104,000 plus an additional R240,000 for future maintenance. This order, in terms of which GEPF had to pay the mother a total of R344,000 by 30 November 2016, replaced the one granted earlier on 02 September 2015. Again, the GEPF failed to comply,” the Public Protector said.

In June 2018, the mother of the child sought assistance from the Public Protector’s office.

Mkhwebane’s office said it contacted  the GPAA, but struggled for months to get assistance.

“Five months down the line, GPAA paid the mother all that was due to her,” the office said.

The office of the Public Protector called on other South Africans to utilise its free service, saying it was  there “to vindicate your rights”.


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