Johannesburg - Judy Sexwale isn’t backing down on claims that her husband Tokyo subjected her to emotional, mental and verbal abuse during their marriage.
Speaking through her lawyer on Sunday, the woman who fell in love with the human settlements minister while he was still incarcerated on Robben Island said she stood by her statement whose details were published in The Star on Friday.
Judy’s lawyer, Beverly Clark, said on Sunday that her client “stands by the contents of her affidavit, which is a document deposed to under oath. The facts will, if necessary, be fully ventilated in court.”
In an e-mail on Sunday, Clark also said “Mrs Sexwale does not want to get into a public argument or slanging match with either her husband or his attorney”.
“She also does not believe the history of the marriage is a matter for public consumption. Mrs Sexwale remains hopeful that the parties will settle the matter in an amicable and dignified fashion for the sake of their children,” the lawyer said.
The Star first reported on a rule 24 application Judy had brought before Johannesburg High Court Judge Ramarumo Monama on Thursday.
In the application, Judy accused Tokyo of trying to hide from her the wealth they had amassed since their marriage in 1993.
She said all their assets, including two trust funds, should be divided equally between them because they were married in community of property.
But Tokyo had kept all information relating to their financial affairs from her, despite the fact that she was a trustee of The Family Trust Fund, Judy said in the papers before court.
“(He) has been controlling and secretive in relation to financial affairs. Since the formation of the family trust, and at all times thereafter, the first defendant… exercised effective control of it…
“He took all major decisions, with scant regard of the wishes of other trustees,” she said.
Judy also wants a house worth no less than R70 million; R3m to furnish it; a new car worth no less than R1m every five years; and R150 000 a month in maintenance, in addition to the equal division of their wealth.
She also wants R50 000 a month for each of their two adult children – all of which must be increased every year by the rate of inflation.
The minister currently earns R1.8m a year, or R150 000 a month. He also has considerable business interests, having quit politics at some point to focus his energies on building a business empire.
Tokyo instituted the divorce proceedings on October 2 last year, claiming in his summons that the marriage had broken down irretrievably.
Judy then made the abuse claim in an affidavit amended to her rule 24 application papers.
“There have been problems in the marriage which the parties have been unable to resolve, including but not limited to (the minister) having subjected the (wife) to physical, verbal, mental and emotional abuse and cruelty,” she said in her affidavit.
But Tokyo, who is represented by celebrity divorce lawyer Billy Gundelfinger, denies the claims.
“Mr Sexwale rejects as false the allegations made relating to his conduct. The allegations will be fully ventilated during court proceedings,” Tokyo’s spokesman, Chris Vick, said in an e-mail on Sunday.
When The Star published the story on Friday, names or any identifying details were omitted.
Pending the outcome of the judge president’s review of the matter, we had elected to respect the laws governing divorce in South Africa, thereby not naming the parties involved.
This story has been edited in line with an apology issued by The Star.
Matter of fact:
In our report on Monday, on the pending divorce between Minister for Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale and his wife Judy, we wrote that the minister had used his wife as a punch bag.
Sexwale’s lawyer Billy Gundelfinger has pointed out that this expression does not appear anywhere in the court papers.
What does appear in the court papers is Judy Sexwale’s contention that her estranged husband subjected her to ‘physical, verbal, mental and emotional abuse and cruelty’.
Likewise Gundelfinger pointed out that nowhere does Mrs Sexwale refer to her husband as a control freak.
Instead, the court papers refer to the minister as “controlling and secretive in relation to the parties’ financial affairs... and took all major decisions [on the family trust’s behalf] with scant regard to the wishes of the other trustees who, in the main, simply did his bidding.
“[Sexwale] conducted his business in the furtherance of his own interests... by virtue of the complete control he exercised....”
The Star accepts Gundelfinger’s points and apologises for the use of the words ‘punch bag' and ‘control freak’.