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September 06, 2005

Spouse, live-in lover claim same pension

The applicability of SA’s pension laws to a multi-cultural society is being tested, with Pension Funds Adjudicator Vuyani Ngalwana being called upon to intervene in a case where a spat broke out over the pension payout of a dead man who apparently had two wives, says a Business Day report. It says the importance of this case is that it focuses attention on companies that simply change their pension practices without informing the people affected. Shell was paying out the monthly pension of R3 615 to the widow of MP Mbuthu as the two were married under customary law. But in March last year, a second partner, SG Xaba, surfaced and claimed she had also been Mbuthu’s partner from 1998 until his death and that she had three children with him. Without telling anyone, including Mbuthu’s widow, Shell slashed the pension in half, awarding R1 807.50 to each woman. Although the rules allow for pensions to be split between two wives, Ngalwana said the first wife should have been informed when her payout was about to be cut.
Full Business Day report


Supplied courtesy of Legalbrief Today.








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