As the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) hears the latest in the ongoing battle between Lerato Sengadi – disputed wife of the late Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo – and his family, represented by his father, Robert Tsambo, we take a look back at how they found themselves at this point.
Robert is looking to challenge what he calls problematic “uncertainties, unfairness, grey areas, ambiguities and guesswork” about customary marriages in South African law.
He believes that customary marriages are subject to unequal and unfair treatment under the eyes of the law, as they do not operate under the same set of fixed laws as civil marriages.
Citing court papers filed by Robert, it was reported that Tsambo Sr argued:
”There is a need for 80% of the population of this country to have clarity of application of the legal system which is central to them forming new relationships of marriage. The legal system must enable them to practise their custom of customary marriage without the uncertainty of what the various legal precedents are creating in their customary marriages.”
According to a report filed by All4Women, the outcome of this case could affect relationships across South Africa.
How Sengadi and HHP’s family ended up at the ConCourt
October 2018: Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo dies
News of the rapper’s death was initially confirmed by Sengadi, who was also his publicist. His cause of death was later revealed to be suicide following a long battle with depression.
He left behind Sengadi, an ex-wife (who died shortly after his passing), a son and his parents.
October 2018: HHP’s family shuns Lerato prior to his funeral
The tiff between the late rappers’ loved ones began when his Robert tried to deny Sengadi access to HHP’s burial on the grounds that she was not officially his wife, even going so far as to file court interdict.
November 2018: Sengadi applied for an interdict to halt the official civic funeral.
In court papers, Sengadi claimed that HHP would have wanted to be buried at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg while his family insisted on burying him in his hometown of Mahikeng without her involvement.
November 2018: Sengadi wins her first court battle
Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng of the Johannesburg High Court ruled in favour of Sengadi with regards to her status as HHP’s customary wife.
However, Mokgoatlheng denied Sengadi’s interdict to stop the funeral in Mahikeng but reminded the family that they had granted her permission to attend the proceedings.
November 2018: HHP buried in Mahikeng
A funeral service was held at the Mmabatho Convention Centre attended by thousands of people who made their way to the North West to pay their last respects to HHP.
He was buried at the hero’s acre section of the Mmabatho cemetery.
Click here to watch the funeral proceedings.
November 2018: HHP’s son, Leano, reportedly locked out of father’s house
The morning after the funeral, a man named Nkululeko Ncana took to Twitter to share the continuing drama at HHP’s home in Randburg.
Speaking in his capacity as member of the Tsambo family, Ncana said HHP’s son, along with the housekeeper and her son who Jabba was taking care of, were left out in the cold after locks were allegedly changed at the rapper’s house in the middle of the night.
#LeratoSengadi #HHP Jabulani Tsambo’s son, Leano, has been locked outside his father’s home.according to the rapper’s cousin and family spokesperson Nkululeko Ncana.Leano’s belongings which include his school uniform and books were found outside the late rapper’s home. pic.twitter.com/FJvfVKJh8a
— #ANCHOR (@TMOLOKOANE) November 5, 2018
June 2019: HHP’s will is read and it is discovered that nothing has been left for Sengadi
The rapper reportedly left his multimillion-rand estate to his son Leano.
April 2020: Sengadi wins another court battle against HHP’s family
Shortly after the country was sent into lockdown for the first time, Sengadi took to Twitter to announce her victory in the Supreme Court of Appeal, as well as her intention to erect a tombstone at her husband’s gravesite.
This after a friend who visited the gravesite sent out a request to fans to crowdfund a tombstone due to the sorry state he found the gravesite in, a year after the rapper was buried.
I will not forget this day for as long as I live! It is over! Justice has been served! To God be the Glory. Thokoza bo Gogo le Bo Mkhulu! Motho waka, remember that promise we make that day a gazzilion years ago? We both kept it! Ke go rata until until! pic.twitter.com/BCuIKtElxX
— Lerato Motho Sengadi (@Leratolicious) April 30, 2020
January 2021: HHP’s dad drags Lerato Sengadi back to court
After losing to Sengadi at the South Gauteng High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal, Robert Tsambo is turning to the ConCourt as a last resort.