Customary ‘spouse’ can get benefits

A woman has been declared the spouse of her late partner by the Bhisho High Court to allow her to benefit from the Government Employees’ Pension Fund.

Nomfusi Bosman was married to Lumkile Gobizembe under customary law.

Gobizembe had been working for the SA Police Service since the early 1980s.

However, when he died, Bosman was not recognised by the pension fund. Instead, his two adult children were made the beneficiaries.

Bosman approached the court to interdict the pension fund from paying out money to the children, Siphosethu Faku and Siyabulela Bosman. Both are respondents in the matter.

Judge Dawid van Zyl this week heard Advocate Donovan Pitt’s application to interdict the pension fund for the payment, an amount of about R500 000.

Van Zyl granted an interim order in Bosman’s favour, and called on the children to show just cause why his order should not be made final.

He declared Bosman as Gobizembe’s spouse, survivor, life partner and dependant.

“[Bosman] is entitled to lodge a claim for benefits accruing to the late Lumkile Gobizembe in terms of the Government Employees’ Pension Fund,” Van Zyl ordered.

-Siya Boya

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