LIMPOPO — A father will spend half of 2016 behind bars for doing too much for his son. After overpaying child support and seeing his son too often — breaking terms that were secretly modified without his knowledge — a judge sentenced him to a lengthy jail sentence.
Mandla Veto has been doing his best to give care to his 11-year-old son, who lives with his ex-wife. He pays his child support and visits regularly. “I’m his father it’s my responsibility to take care of him,” Hall said.
Last November, his child support payments were paid in full. Sometime between then and now, the child support agreement between Mandla and his wife was modified without his knowledge. Mandla wound up overpaying by R18 500, a fact that Limpopo High Court Judge Mr T Selebogo Itumeleng found contemptible.
Another term that was modified without his knowledge was his visitation schedule. Subsequently, Mandla was found to have over-visited his son.
Judge Selebogo ended up finding Mandla in contempt of court.
“When she said I remand you to the Makhado Prison here in Limpopo for 180 days my mouth just dropped,” said Mandla.
In addition to the six month jail sentence, Judge Selebogo is forcing Mandla to pay his ex-wife’s attorney fees.
“I can’t be there for my son in jail,” Mandla said. “I can’t pay child support in jail. This is not in the best interest of the child.”
Mandla is correct. Such heavy-handed actions on the part of the court serve no one. Not only is the child going to be deprived of his father for the next 6 months, but taxpayers will have to pay the father’s incarceration, and will potentially be forced to subsidize the mother’s living expenses in lieu of the child support payments.
It just goes to show us that no good deed goes unpunished in Limpopo.