IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the matter of :
GETRUDE MASEOTLO SEOTLO - Applicant
vGREGORY SEOTLO - Respondent
Delivered by the Non. Mr. Justice M. P. Mofokeng on the
18th day of January, 1984.
This is an application for an order:-
" (a) Varying paragraph 2 (a) of the Deed of
Settlement between the parties in CIV/T/17/74 dated 5th February 1979
so that :-
(i) Respondent shall maintain Applicant in the sum of
M100.00 per month.
(ii) Respondent shall furthermore maintain the parties
son Seotlo Seotlo in the sum of M150.00 per month.
(iii) Respondent shall furthermore maintain the parties
daughter Lineo Seotlo in the sum of R150.00 per month.
Further and/or alternative relief."
In the founding affidavit it is common cause that
parties in the present application have two minor
children and that the parties were judicially seperated
on the 5th February 1978 and in the process of so doing they entered
and signed a Deed of Settlement which was then made an order of
this Court. Paragraph 2(a) of the said Deed of Settlement is phrased
in the following words:
" The custody of the minor children of the marriage
be and is hereby granted to the plaintiff subject to the following
(a) Defendant shall have access to the
children of the parties every last weekend of the month.
Defendant shall maintain the plaintiff and the two minor
children in the sum of R75.00 per month and such amount to be paid to
office of the Registrar of the High Court."
It is quite obvious that the paragraph complained of in
this application is paragraph 3 and not paragraph 2(a).
When the Deed of Settlement was made an order of this
Court the two minor children were eight (8) and nine (9) years
Today the child who was eight (8) years at the time is
in her last year of primary education and will begin her secondary
in the coming year. The child who was nine (9) years has
since completed his primary education
and has begum his High School education at St. Stephens.
The former child has applied to St. Mary's High School.
There is no running away from the fact that High School education is
Applicant avers that her monthly bill for groceries,
domestic help, children's clothing and other basic requirements
figure of M200.00 per month. However, there are no
The applicant avers that she earns a salary
of M327.00 p.m. as a receptionist at the Lesotho
Agricultural Bank. To her knowledge the respondent earns a salary of
as a teacher/lecturer at Lerotholi Politechnic. Both
figures given here are after tax has been deducted.
It is submitted that the respondent has the means and
ability to pay the increased maintanance as prayed for.
The respondent, in his affidavit, avers that the
applicant and the minor children do not only recieve maintenance in
terms of the
Deed of Settlement which was made an order of this Court
but he pays tuition and clothing for the minor children. However
no receipts attached. He avers that the maintenance he
gives to the applicant and the children is quite adequate. However,
not dispute the applicant's allegations regarding the school
fees, books and clothing of the minor children. He is prepared to
paying for the above mentioned expenses. He further
admits that the cost of bringing up children has risen considerably
in the past
few years and that is the burden he has to carry.
The Respondent avers that the applicant's salary added
to the maintenance he pays, is almost equal to his after those very
However, when one considers that he still has to pay
what he avers, in addition, the application for variation become
At common law it is the duty of both parents to maintain
their children. The incidence of this duty in respect of each, will
depend upon the relative means and circumstances and the
needs of the minor children from time to time. (Kemp v Kemp, 1958(3)
736) As the respondent correctly and realistically put it, the
cost of bringing up of children has risen considerably. The sum of
approximately M30.00 p.m. per child awarded in 1978 for an eight (8)
or nine (9) year old child might have seemed quite adequate
time. But the children have grown and their needs have increased.
One is at the High School already. Receipts were attached
document entitled additional affidavit. The school fees paid at St.
Stephen's Diocesan High School, Mohale's Hoek were attached
sums of M140.00 (Jan. 25, 1983), M135.00 (April 6, 1983) and M100.00
(26/7/83). Respondent also avers that he pays tuition
fees for the
minor children. He has attached no receipts to
that effect. The only inference is that the applicant
provides for the education of the other minor children as well. The
has not shown that he has any other commitments other than
these two minor children born of the marriage with the applicant whom
he is supporting at approximately M30.00 p.m. per child.
Both Counsel in this matter have been very constructive
in their Heads of Arguments. Counsel for the respondent suggests
" A just course would be to direct that
the Applicant should be responsible for the payment of school fees
for the one child while
the Respondent would be responsible for the
payment of school fees for the other child and further maintenance
for the children could
be varied taking into account the nett income
of each party and each to contribute proportionately to his or her
Counsel for the Applicant has this to suggest:
" It is submitted that the following variation
order would be fair and reasonable in the circumstances:
that Respondent pay school fees ofLineo Seotlo on
or before their duedate.
that Applicant pay school fees of SeotloSeotlo on
or before their due date.
that Respondent pay maintenance of M82.50per month
for each of the children.
would, therefore, seem to me to be by consent that
there be an order of variation. The Court is not
surprised by this attitude because good cause had been
shown by the applicant.
The order is granted in the following terms:-
That Respondent pay all the tuitionfees for the
minor child of theirmarriage Lineo Seotlo.
That Applicant pay all the tuition feesfor the
minor child of their marriageSeotlo Seotlo
That Respondent pay maintenance in thesum of M50 00
per month per child
Each party to pay its own costs.
For the Applicant : Mr. Moiloa " "
Respondent . Mr Matsau
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