Gogo Selina Mashaba says she is destitute after her stepchildren allegedly evicted her from her matrimonial home and she is struggling to find money to pay for the legal fees required for her to change the ownership of the property into her name.
Mashaba, says her woes started in 2013 when she got married to her late husband after his first wife was deceased and she moved in with him. She says her stepchildren started to resent her and told her to leave the house.
The 67-year-old says things got worse when her husband got sick and frail due to old age. Mashaba alleges that she was verbally and physically abused and she ended up getting a protection order.
“When my husband was hospitalized they started beating me and telling me to leave the house. I persevered because I did not want to leave my husband when he was sick. That was the time when he needed me the most. So I stayed at the shack at the back of the main house until in 2019 when my husband passed on,” says a teary Mashaba.
Mashaba says immediately after burying her husband she packed her bags and left everything in fear of what could happen to her since her husband was gone. “My husband left a will which clearly stated that I must inherit everything. As you can see it is written: “I hereby cancel my previous Wills and Codicils, made by me party, or individually. I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint, Selina Gladys Mashaba, to be the sole and universal heir to my entire estate and effects, immovable and movable, of whatever nature, wherever situated,” reads part of the Last Will and Testament by her husband made.
However, Mashaba’s children denied all the allegations levelled by their mother, saying: “We have a title deed with our names and we don’t know the title deed which she is talking about. She must be having a fake title deed and we know that she got married to our father in a dodgy way so we don’t even consider that marriage valid”.
When asked to produce the title deed she was referring to, one of the children called the reporter and claimed she was at the police station to open a case against us for entering their property without an appointment.
Now, Mashaba says she is living like a pauper in a shack in an informal settlement at Phumlamqhashi, South of Joburg yet her husband made it clear that she should enjoy the benefits of his “sweat and tears”.
Mashaba says all she wants is to get her husband’s movable property and to get a share of the house if the law stipulates so. “I don’t want to fight with my children. I still consider them as my children. All I want is for us to find peace and get what belongs to me and they get what belongs to them. I know we can’t live together at the same house in peace and it will be best to have the house sold.
“But I am struggling to have this done because I don’t have money for the lawyers. My pension grant is not enough as you can see this shack has no electricity and when it rains like these days the roof is leaking.
“The lawyer which I got for free last September told me that there was a problem with the transfer of ownership of the house because the late wife was also on the title deed,” Mashaba points out.
Glen Porter of Porter Seaber Attorneys who was assisting Mashaba pro bono says Mashaba requires legal services relating to the administration of deceased estates and conveyancing and his law firm specializing in conveyancing only so he can’t help her. “We have been specializing in conveyancing services for the last 20 years (sic) and are not geared up for the Administration of Deceased Estates. We can therefore not assist the client at this stage. We did notify the Legal Practice Council of this fact in writing.
“However, once a law firm has been instructed by the Legal Practice Council, to assist the client with the administration of the deceased estates of her late husband and his previous, late wife and prepared Liquidation and Distribution accounts for both Deceased Estates, approved by the Master of the High Court, then we can attend to the conveyancing services related to this property,” says Porter.
The Legal Practice Council did not respond to our media inquiry sent a fortnight ago on how it can further assist Mashaba.