Dr Mani's papgeld problems
Siphiwe Mkhonza. Picture: Gallo Images
Johannesburg - Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana player Siphiwe Mkhonza is embroiled in a bitter papgeld drama with his former fiancée.
Mkhonza (37), who was known as Doctor Mani in his heyday, will appear in the Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court next month.
Two sources close to the SABC soccer analyst and his former fiancée, whom City Press is not naming to protect the child’s identity, said this week that the drama played itself out on Monday.
A few minutes before 18:30, when Mkhonza was supposed to start preparing for his popular SABC1 show SoccerZone, she arrived at the studios unannounced, police in tow, to slap him with a subpoena and a maintenance order.
“Mkhonza was so embarrassed because his colleagues witnessed the scene,” said one SABC employee who was there when the police arrived.
“But I don’t blame her. He must be man enough and support his child.”
Another employee who witnessed the police’s arrival at the SABC’s Auckland Park headquarters, said that, as embarrassed as Mkhonza was, he had no choice but to sign the papers.
However, when called on Friday for comment, Mkhonza said: “My sister, I don’t know what you are talking about. Someone out there is just targeting me.”
He refused to entertain any further questions and ended the call.
However, friends of the couple say Mkhonza has not been supporting the child financially for the past 10 months.
Mkhonza, they say, paid lobola for his fiancée, who is also in her thirties, three years ago.
They said that it was only recently that the woman decided that she had had enough and took the step to haul him before the maintenance court.
“Her intention was not to embarrass Mkhonza. But she had no choice after she made several calls to him and he was always rude to her,” said one.
“She is unemployed and her family has been helping her support the child, while Mkhonza is not even contributing a cent as a father.”
Another said that Mkhonza has more than one job: he is also coach for Monash South Africa and MacDonald’s Under-14 sides.
“I don’t understand why he is failing to pay because he can afford to maintain his child,” said another.
“This is so sad because Mkhonza is punishing the baby for whatever he thinks the mother did.
"The boy’s Grade R graduation party is coming soon and she is stressing because she is unemployed and she will not be able to afford to buy all the graduation clothes for the poor child.”
Another friend said Mkhonza was a wonderful father, but that problems began when the couple broke up last year and he left the house they used to share.
One of her friends alleged Mkhonza left because he fell in love with another woman.
“The fiancée was there for Siphiwe when he was jobless and she used to support him financially, but when she lost her job, he failed to return the favour. Instead, he left her with the child,” one of the woman’s confidantes said.
It’s not the first time Mkhonza has made headlines for the wrong reasons.
Two years ago, the Sunday Sun reported that Mkhonza seemed to be quite the player off the field too, and had 15 children he was failing to maintain, from at least six women.
At the time, he did not respond to requests for comment.
Contacted for comment, the woman said the chapter about her and Mkhonza had concluded 10 months ago.
“He must just do the right thing for our child,” she said.
TALK TO US
How do we get men to take responsibility for their children?
SMS us on 35697 using the keyword PAPGELD and tell us what you think. Please include your name and province. SMSes cost R1.50