Latwell Nyangu

SOUTH Africa-based businessman, Shepherd Chipatiko, is demanding back the R1,6 million (about US$91 000), he splashed on lobola and marriage celebrations, from his ex-wife after their short-lived marriage collapsed amid a tsunami of vicious personal attacks.

His marriage to Varaidzo Marylyn Kunze collapsed in December last year and he is suing her for R15 000k for allegedly peddling falsehoods against him.

He claims Varaidzo even offered him to marry her daughter, Thando Sibanda, but he turned down the offer.

He has also dangled a R10 000 reward for anyone who helps him know where she can be located.

The couple was married for only a short period of time and they did not have any children together.

“I now want her to refund me the lobola payment and celebrations amounting to R755 000, posh car for R385 000, Bitcoin loan of R100 000.

“She made a misrepresentation of a fake pregnancy, R320 000, age misrepresentation, and about having one child when she has two kids.

“I also want R15 000 for defamation of character.”

Shepherd told H-Metro:

“We separated last year in December and I gave her R188 000 to start her life after lying to me several times.

“She lied that she was pregnant and she was dating someone here in SA.

“She was weighing on who to stay with and I engaged the guy who also said she was a fraudster.

“This woman lied about her age that she is 38 yet she was 48 and even promised to give me her daughter, who is 25 years.

“She promised to destroy my reputation.”

Shepherd’s lawyers, Kevin James McCallum Attorneys, have also written to Varaidzo.

“Our client instructs that you have published on every social media platform possible (including but not limited to Whatsapp, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube) as well as media outlets, Threads and Bluewheel Barrow Farm, both within the Republic of South Africa and Zimbabwe defamatory and slanderous comments with the specific aim and intention of defaming our client as well as his wife.

“The blatant untruths published and shared on and across the aforementioned platforms constitute a defamation of our client’s good name and character.

“Your actions have as such led to our client incurring damages on a professional and business level as well as in his personal life.

“Our client instructs us that he was coerced into a customary marriage with yourself as a result of the below-mentioned misrepresentations made to him by you. 

“You misrepresented that you were 38 years of age and that you were pregnant with our client’s child and only had one other child, when in fact you were 48 years of age, with two children and were not in fact pregnant with our client’s child or at all as a fertility clinic had determined you to have already reached menopause.”

The lawyers added:

“As a result of the aforementioned, misrepresentations by yourself, our client paid a sum of R 1 655 000 for a customary marriage celebration and lobola.

“Further to the aforementioned, our client loaned you a sum of R100 000 for the purposes of you investing in Bitcoin. To date our client has never received a single cent towards the repayment of same.

“Our client also instructs that during and possibly after your marriage you have forged his signature on numerous occasions on various documents which for the purposes of this letter we wish to merely put on record, but will be dealt with by instituting criminal charges against you for same.

“We are further instructed that not only have you shared our client’s personal and private information with media outlets but the personal and private information of his wife and minor children, which is in direct violation of the POPI Act which could result in a massive fine and/or imprisonment.

“In light of the aforementioned we demand the following from you within 24 hours after dispatch hereof:

“Removal of all your defamatory social media posts, a retraction statement to be issued to all the media outlets that you have contacted or been contacted whereby you defame our client and/or his wife, a formal public apology to be shared on every and all social media platforms you took to, to defame our client and/or his wife in the first place.”

The lawyers said they were demanding:

l “Repayment of the sum of R100 000 lent to you by our client aforementioned, repayment in the sum of R1 655 000 paid by our client for the customary marriage celebrations and lobola into which he would never have entered had it not been for your outrageous misrepresentations.

l “Payment in the sum of R15 000 for defamation of character as our client has suffered irreparable damages to his good standing, character, reputation, and loss of income incurred as a direct result of your spurious and vexatious defamatory mistruths shared about our client.”

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