A Bulawayo woman dumped her abusive “husband” who was constantly harassing her and at the same time refusing to pay lobola for her claiming she was worthless and useless during their 10-year cohabitation which was also blessed with two children aged five and nine.
After being incensed by his abusive behaviour and reluctance to take their relationship to the next level Patience Mangena (31) filed a protection order against Rodger Mthethwa (55), a teacher based in Swaziland.
In her application in which she labelled Mthethwa a drunkard, womaniser, violent and oppressive man Mangena who is also a teacher in Bulawayo said she was no longer interested in him adding that she was now focused on raising their two children.
She claimed she was living on borrowed time after Mthethwa threatened to kill her if ever she dumped him.
“I am a woman aged 31 and have been in a relationship for 12 years with Rodger Mthethwa aged 55 years. We have two children together aged nine and five. We don’t stay together and he refused to pay lobola saying I am valueless and useless. He is staying with his wife and I am staying with my two children.
“I am doing everything by myself and he has been forcing me to commit to the relationship by threatening me saying that he will kill me and escape to Swaziland if ever I try to end the relationship. Life with him has been difficult because he is a drunkard, womaniser, oppressive and abusive. He has been verbally, emotionally and physically abusing me. I reported him to the police several times but nothing happened to him,” complained Mangena.
She said Mthethwa was forcibly taking her money to pursue other businesses with his wife.
“He never allowed me to engage in business and surprisingly he is demanding all the money that I am raising from selling cakes and Tupperware using it to build his homestead in Nyamandlovu. He also took my money and bought bricks to develop a residential stand that is in his wife’s name,” said Mangena.
She added: “I told him that I am no longer interested in him but he is still coming to my place and even at night trying to break down the doors. I am really scared because he will end up killing me and as a result, I want a protection order to be granted against him so that he stops stalking and abusing me”.
Responding to whether or not he had a problem with the granting of the protection order, Mthethwa told the court that Mangena was still his wife because he paid for her education.
“I am not opposed to her application but it should be clear that she is my wife. I don’t mind even if the order is granted in her favour but I was about to go and pay lobola for her,” said Mthethwa.
He also labelled his estranged “wife” a liar.
“My wife is a liar. She claims that we never stayed together but this is due to work commitments than anything else. I never missed coming home on any school holiday. By calling me her boyfriend I wonder if she is acknowledging that she now has a boyfriend when our marriage is still subsisting.
“My wife also describes me as oppressive, suppressive and a dictator when I actually sponsored her education from Ordinary Level to college and she is now a teacher. Education is enlightenment, not oppression and how could she have attended these educational institutions when she is not allowed to step outside the gate,” argued Mthethwa.
Presiding magistrate Tinashe Tashaya, however, ordered Mthethwa to observe Mangena’s peace by not verbally, emotionally and physically abusing her and visiting her place as well as communicating with her in any way.