A 19-year-old Johannesburg student is suing his mother for tuition fees, pocket money and relaxation activities, to the tune of R14 655 a month.
Louwna (55), who is a personal assistant, said her “heart is broken” because her son, Thomas, is taking her to court for maintenance. Thomas matriculated from Parktown Boys High School and is now a first-year accounting student at Wits University.
Louwna said she only earns R27 000 monthly before deductions and has “no idea” why her son thinks she can afford the maintenance he is demanding.
She drives a second hand Hyundai i10 which her aunt gave her, and rents a one-bedroom garden cottage in Westdene, Johannesburg.
“I recently had a nervous breakdown because of all this drama,” Louwna told City Press’ sister publication, Rapport.
According to Louwna, her son is claiming:
- R3 404 per month for accommodation, even though he lives with his father;
- R3 000 per month for groceries and personal care;
- R620 per month for clothes;
- R1 906 for medical aid;
- R500 pocket money, R700 for lunches and R50 for extramural activities;
- R500 per month for vacations or relaxation; and
- R2 200 per month for tuition fees.
Thomas did not want to comment on the matter.
His father, Craig, said: “All that I’m saying is that I support my son in his case.”
Riëtte Oosthuizen, an attorney who specialises in family law, said it was possible for an adult to claim maintenance from his parents.
Oosthuizen said both parents were liable for the maintenance needs of a child as long as they have proof.
The court will have to determine if maintenance is indeed required, if the child’s expectations are reasonable given the lifestyle he or she is accustomed to and whether the parent can afford it.