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MBABANE – A woman of Siteki wants the court to direct a man she cohabitated with for four years to give her half-share of the assets they acquired while staying together.

Cohabitation is an arrangement where two people who are not married live together. The assets which form part of the litigation include 22 cattle, two tractors, household items and a motor vehicle.

Simangele Nkambule of Makhewu in Siteki has since instituted legal proceedings against Mbongeni Matsenjwa of the same area. In her particulars of claim, Nkambule submitted that with Matsenjwa, they lived together in a cohabitation relationship from November 2008 until May 2019. According to the plaintiff (Nkambule), two children were born out of their relationship.  

She alleged that during the course of the cohabitation, the defendant (Matsenjwa) with the intention to marry her, paid lobola to her family but there was never any solemnisation. “The parties union therefore, is a partnership and properties were acquired during its existence, is a universal joint partnership,” submitted Nkambule. A universal partnership is an express or tacit agreement between two people, including same-sex couples, who choose to live together in a permanent relationship without entering into marriage.

Nkambule alleged that during their stay together, they also acquired and amassed the following properties jointly; 22 cattle, two tractors, household items, 4-tonne lorry which was later sold at E40 000, houses at the defendant’s home and a motor vehicle. These are allegations contained in particulars of claim whose veracity is still to be tested and the defendant is yet to file his papers in the event he is disputing the claim.

According to Nkambule, on or about the year 2018 the relationship between them went sour to the extent that she acquired an order from the Siteki Magistrates Court.  She alleged that the court order, interdicted Matsenjwa from conducting himself violently against her.  Nkambule submitted that the alleged abuse continued and she was eventually forced to leave Matsenjwa’s home and returned to her parental homestead thus terminating the union between them.

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