Prominent Bulawayo socialite, businessman and media personality Babongile Sikhonjwa has reportedly been hit with a US$300 000 lawsuit for costs associated with the upkeep of a 12-year-old who has been revealed as his daughter after genetic testing, also known as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test.
According to sources in the know, Sikhonjwa was recently served with papers of the pending lawsuit by artiste and media personality, Thulani “Javas” Sibanda who is also Bulawayo Chiefs Football Club media officer.
The sources said Sibanda is claiming damages for the upkeep of the child he believed to be his for 12 years, but has now been revealed as that of Sikhonjwa, who only found out after the DNA test. Unconfirmed reports also revealed that the child’s maternal grandmother, under instruction from her United Kingdom-based daughter and mother of the minor, a former member of a local arts ensemble, approached the Magistrates Courts to apply for full custody of the juvenile.
“Javas is suing Babongile for US$300 000 for looking after the child for 12 years. The child’s grandmother recently reported Javas for contempt of court alleging that he (Javas) denied her access to see the child. Then midway through the hearing during court set down, she stood up and said he (Javas) was not the father of the child and produced the DNA results. The prosecutor asked if people wanted to see the results and everyone agreed and it was revealed that the DNA test was done on 1 May and it stated that there was a 99% chance that Sikhonjwa was the child’s father.
“On 12 October the child’s grandmother approached the Magistrate Court and applied for custody. The matter was heard, but the magistrate dismissed the application on grounds that they were supposed to apply for variation of the current standing access order. Then they applied for variation from Access to Custody and the case is due to be heard on 26 October,” said the source.
When contacted for a comment, Sikhonjwa said he could not speak about a matter which is before the courts, while Sibanda was unavailable. –Sunday News