Thu Oct 30 20:11:41 SAST 2014

Baby drama - Zola escapes jail in custody feud

Feb 11, 2013 | NGWAKO MALATJI |

KWAITO star and television icon Bonginkosi "Zola 7" Dlamini escaped spending Christmas in jail by a hair's breadth in a child custody drama that can shame Academy award-wining movie Kramer vs Kramer.

Sunday World can reveal that a contingent of heavily armed police officers descended on Zola's house in Meadowlands, Soweto, and assembled around his gate like vultures on a carcass - demanding that his mother open the gate so they could take the artist's first child he sired with an ex-girlfriend, whose name is known to Sunday World.

When the elderly woman - who lived with the child - dilly-dallied, police threatened to cut open the locked gate. Zola's mother had to tearfully hand the child over.

The drama started when Zola's ex moved to her home province, KwaZulu-Natal, in 2010 to study nursing. By then, she and Zola were no longer an item.

"I requested Zola to live with the child in Joburg and promised to take her back when I started working and he agreed," she says.

She says Zola, who farmed the child out to his mother in Meadowlands, refused her access to the child in 2011.

"I asked if the child could visit me in KZN but he refused."

She says she went to the local Scottburgh Magistrate's Court to obtain a court order to get her child back.

She later approached the Dobsonville police station, in Soweto, in June last year to execute the order.

"Police accompanied me to his house but he was not there. Police phoned him and he told them to meet him at Brixton police station (in Joburg) because he lived in Melville and not Meadowlands," she says.

"When I arrived there I found a police officer who escorted me to his house in Melville - where he (Zola) insulted and humiliated me. He then invited the cop into his house and after a couple of minutes the cop came out and said he could not arrest him because the order was fake. Zola even spat on my friend's car."

The woman says she went back to court and obtained a warrant for Zola's arrest. She says she wrote an e-mail to a well known cop and complained that the police were protecting Zola.

On December 24 she arrived at Dobsonville police station with her mother and she was escorted to Zola's house in Meadowlands by a team of no-nonsense police officers.

"We arrived there and as usual did not find him. When police phoned him he told them again to meet him at Brixton police station," she says.

She says he arrived in court last month with documents claiming that he was granted custody of the child by a Joburg court, but was told to take a hike.

"I thought that was the end of the story but my child's school teachers refused to send me her report to enrol her at a local school. They only did so when the court threatened to issue a warrant for the principal's arrest," she says.

Soweto police spokesperson Kay Makhubela confirms that police were asked to intervene in the matter. Zola admitted police came to his house and took the child.

"Apparently I was sent summons to appear in court and I didn't. But they did not arrest me because I told them that the residential and work addresses she gave the court that issued those summons were incorrect," he says, adding that he will fight for the child's custody.

malatjin@sundayworld.co.za

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Thu Oct 30 20:11:41 SAST 2014 ::

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