Since the commencement of Operation Isondlo in April this year, authorities have paid out over R1,7 million to maintenance beneficiaries across the Western Cape. Spearheading the campaign, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development provincial head Advocate Hisham Mohamed said R1, 6 million in child support was paid from attaching the pension funds of maintenance defaulters. During the press briefing on Tuesday, three maintenance beneficiaries received their payments from the proceeds of pensions that were attached by court orders.
“The message received through interaction with the community was clear: defaulters must be brought to book,” Mohamed told journalists.
Through conducting imbizos with women from all over the province, Mohamed says there is a need for drastic improvement in the child maintenance system to ensure that the best interest of the minor children is protected.
In the lead up to 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children, the department’s Maintenance Services aims to clamp down on defaulters at large and further ensure that beneficiaries receive their child support before Christmas.
“One of the key elements of the DOCJCD’s turnaround Strategy on maintenance is to ensure that untraced maintenance beneficiaries are traced and paid the maintenance money due to them, through the Operation Isondlo campaign. Operation Isondlo is one of the DOJCD’s initiatives that aim to ensure that children are adequately by their parents,” Mohamed further added.
Mohamed further called on the broader community to assist in identifying the current whereabouts of defaulters at large.
The twenty top defaulters are:
Johannes Owies- Bishop Lavis
Euan Oniel Kanow- Kuils River
Manelesi Dlabane- Bellville
Adam Beukes- Worcester
Roderick Dreyer- Athlone
Chedwin Januarie- Hopefied
Reuben Sikitasi Sigonyela- Khayelitsha
Gerald Jacobs- Stellenbosch
The above defaulters owe a total of R368,410.00 in child support. SAPS and Home Affairs are working closely with the department to ensure the defaulters are found.
In March 2015, the department identified 1 078 outstanding warrants of arrest for maintenance defaulters. At the end of October 2015, it executed 391 warrants worth approximately R3, 358 537.54. Currently, there are 687 outstanding warrants which the department hopes to execute during the 16 Days of Activism of No Violence Against Women and Children.
Forty-five year old Chantell Michaels received a cheque totally R115 000 in maintenance after discovering her ex-husband had no longer made monthly maintenance payments and retired from his job. Michaels encouraged other women in the same situation to come forward and contact the department for assistance.
“I am now able to see to my 14 year old son and ensure that he gets the best education and life. It was a tough rode to walk but I just want other women to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” Michaels added. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)