Friday, June 22, 2018

Undenge denies maintenance arrears

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FORMER Energy and Power Development minister Samuel Undenge (62), who is accused of defaulting paying R226 805 maintenance, pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before a Harare magistrate yesterday.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Undenge, who is represented by Alec Muchadehama, filed for an exception to the charges, arguing that the State’s case did not disclose an
offence.
Muchadehama said Undenge was ordered to pay $400 by the magistrate’s court on March 31, 2014 and the matter is still pending at the High Court and is now at law not liable to pay the maintenance fees since the child is over 18 years.
“My client had stopped paying maintenance after approaching the civil court on May 4 this year, which granted his application. There was no need for the matter to be made criminal since Undenge only stopped paying maintenance after approaching the Civil Court notifying that he was no longer paying maintenance since his son is now an adult,” Muchadehama said.
The former minister’s lawyer said after the magistrates court dismissed Angeline Undenge’s application, she then challenged the dismissal of the case at the High Court and the application is still pending.
Muchadehama said the woman reported the matter to the police despite the fact that it is pending before the High Court.
But prosecutor Devoted Gwashavanhu-Nyagano said Undenge must face trial since the matter was urgent, saying Christian was missing lectures at Cape Town University.
Magistrate Annie Ndiraya postponed the matter to June 29 for ruling.
According to the State, in March 2014, the court ordered Undenge to pay $200 a month and fees for Christian.
It is alleged Undenge defaulted since March 2016, leading to accruing of arrears.