A VERY interesting article was published in a local newspaper about a widow who is being sued for maintenance by the father of their daughter.
In the article the woman does not seem too keen on paying the requested amount to help financially support the child. She instead insists that the father is more than capable of taking care of the child by himself and exposes his monthly earnings and businesses that he allegedly has going on the side.
Firstly, women go to extreme lengths to make sure that their maintenance cases are properly followed up and put into action, and rightly so.
It is the responsibility of both parents to take care of their child — be it financially or otherwise. Now when a man does the same thing he gets crucified for it. So what if he earns millions? At the end of the day, he didn’t make this baby by himself.
Secondly, the mother disclosed the amount that the father is asking for — R500 a month. He is being very lenient with her. That amount doesn’t even begin to cover a child’s expenses these days.
For her to complain publicly about being asked to contribute such a measly amount to her own flesh and blood is not very appealing and it says much about her character as a person and her integrity as a mother. Perhaps it is a good thing that her daughter is not growing up under her supervision.
This woman is a government employee with an adequate salary and so taking financial care of her child shouldn’t be a problem.
There are women who are doing this with not even a fraction of what she must be earning and they are doing it alone.
There are men who cannot take responsibility for the children which they father, so let us not try to spoil the few who realise this necessity. It takes two to make a baby and it should take two to raise it. Period.
• Lungi Dladla is a freelance writer based in Pietermaritzburg.