In a recent court ruling, a mother has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for contempt of court after repeatedly ignoring court orders granting her former husband access to their child.
The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria handed down the sentence, ordering the mother to report to the Pretoria Central Police Station within 24 hours to begin serving her jail time at Kgosi Mampuru Prison.
The court also mandated that the mother deliver the child to the father, and authorized the sheriff, accompanied by the police, to retrieve the child if she failed to comply.
This decision comes after the mother ignored two previous court orders in favor of the father, prompting him to seek legal action.
Despite the father diligently paying R15,000 per month in child maintenance, the mother continued to deny him access to their child.
The court noted that the mother’s actions were in direct violation of the child’s rights, as he was being denied the opportunity to know his father and form a relationship with him.
Furthermore, the judge expressed concern over the conduct of the mother’s attorney, stating that legal practitioners have an ethical duty to advise their clients to obey court orders.
The failure of the attorney to advise the mother to comply with the court orders raised questions about their professional integrity.
Given the mother’s repeated defiance of the court’s authority and her disregard for her own child’s best interests, the judge deemed a 12-month prison sentence appropriate.