Son sues dad over tuition fees

A 21-YEAR-old Port Elizabeth student dragged his father to court this week to compel him to pay for his studies, after he claimed his dad spent more on his Rottweilers than he did on his own flesh and blood.

But in an emotional twist in the Port Elizabeth Maintenance Court on Thursday, electrician Andre Greeff, 47, agreed to all his son’s demands on condition that they try patch up their personal relationship.

Greeff, of Cotswold Extension, agreed to pay R50 600 towards his son Ruan’s IT studies, as well as R1 200 a month in maintenance for the next year.

Ruan, who is finishing his second year through the CTI Education Group, said his father suddenly stopped paying his fees at the end of last year. His parents are divorced and both have since remarried.

He said his father told him in December that he would no longer lend him financial assistance.

Ruan managed to secure a student loan to cover his studies for this year but was concerned about paying it back without his father’s help.

In court papers filed earlier Greeff argued that further studies were not crucial to Ruan’s future.

He said he had managed to find employment without furthering his studies and that he believed his son could do the same.

He offered to assist him in securing a job at Continental Tyre, where he and his second wife worked.

But Ruan, who does odd jobs when he is not prepping for exams, said he wanted to be the first in his family to graduate from college. He said he even chose CTI because the Port Elizabeth campus was close to his Steytler Township residence and that the fees were cheaper than at other tertiary institutions in Nelson Mandela Bay. He said he had discussed this at length with his parents and that they seemed happy at the time. Ruan told the court that studying IT was a life-long dream and that he had informed his father in matric what his plans were.

He said he was confident that once he graduated he would earn a good salary and would therefore be able to assist his family.

He pointed out that his father, who was ordered to declare his financial statements to the court, spent about R750 a month on food for his three Rottweiler dogs. He said this was more than he received in a month.

But after Greeff had acceded to his son’s demands, Ruan said he now looked forward to patching up their father-son relationship.

“I am very grateful for what he has agreed to do for me and I will repay him by working very hard to achieve good results,” he said. Greeff refused to comment. The matter was postponed to November 24 for the agreement to be made a court order.

This is a version of an article that appeared in
the print edition of the Weekend Post on Saturday, October 12, 2013.

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