Sithelo Shozi accuses Andile Mpisane & his mom, Shauwn Mkhize of abducting her 3-year-old daughter.
Businesswoman Shauwn Mkhize and her son, Andile Mpisane, received a summons this week from South African influencer and DJ Sithelo Shozi, the mother of Mpisane’s two young daughters and his former lover. She accused them of failing to return her three-year-old daughter to her after a “visit” that lasted more than a year.
Sithelo Shozi accuses Andile Mpisane & his mom, Shauwn Mkhize of abducting her 3-year-old daughter
The 28-year-old Shozi is asking the court for an interim injunction stating that her three-year-old daughter was “unlawfully and unconstitutionally” taken away and that she needs to have her child returned to her right away. In addition, she requests an order to stop Mpisane, 21, and Mkhize from ejecting her children from her house without her permission.
The third respondent listed in Shozi’s summons is police minister Bheki Cele, a close friend of Mkhize’s family. She doesn’t accuse him, though, in her 24-page affidavit. Cele wasn’t available for comment right away.
Shozi claims in court documents that since her daughter was taken away from her in March of last year, she has not been permitted to see her.
Ntsako Godi, the attorneys for Mkhize and Mpisane, asserted that they had not kidnapped the child and that they would be contesting Shozi’s request.
“We will defend this application and we are confident of our case. This is a media attention-seeking stunt,” he said, adding that there was no reason for Shozi to add Cele as a respondent when she made no claims against him and he was not involved in the matter.
Godi also questioned Shozi’s decision to not file a report with the police after learning that abduction is a serious offense.
“The child was never abducted and has at all times since birth been raised in the house of MaMkhize and Andile,” he said.
Shozi claims in court documents that her ex-boyfriend and his mother coerced her into submitting both of her kids to DNA testing to establish his paternity.
“As if that was not enough, I was also summonsed to undergo the DNA test. This was done to confirm if I am indeed the biological mother … I obliged,” she said.
“I had no qualms undergoing the DNA test. I was faithful and loyal to [Mpisane] during our relationship. What I objected to was the manner in which they approached it — it is unlawful to abduct the child and force us to undergo the DNA tests.”
In court documents, Shozi asserts that the drama started when Mkhize called her on March 4 of last year and requested that she bring her grandkids to visit her at her house in La Lucia because “she was missing them.”
The children, who were dropped off in their pajamas, were supposed to stay the night and be picked up the next morning, according to Shozi.
While the youngest, who was two at the time, was given back to mom that evening, Mkhize allegedly informed Shozi the following day that her eldest kid was ill and that she would be cared for until she felt better.
Shozi also claims that Mkhize “refused to disclose the supposed illness” and refused to give her evidence that she was taken to the hospital.
“For over 10 months now, there has been no further communication [on her illness] … It’s clear that [Mpisane and Mkhize] had ulterior motives — which is to abduct [her],” states Shozi in her affidavit
Godi said Mpisane did not have access to the younger daughter, who Shozi cares for full time.
“Why are Andile’s rights in respect to the other child not taken into account? Why should we be worried about Sithelo not having seen her child since March but it’s fine for Andile not having access?” he asked.
Shozi’s assertions that she was unable to get in touch with the child, according to Godi, are inaccurate because she was given the child’s nanny’s cellphone number in July of last year, when she initially complained about not having access.
“She’s bitter and jealous that Andile has found happiness elsewhere,” Godi said, alluding to Mpisane’s recent proposal to Tamia Louw.
Godi further refuted claims that Shozi was coerced into submitting to DNA testing, claiming the tests were carried out as a parenting plan was being negotiated.
When DNA testing are performed on children, it is routine procedure to obtain a sample of the mother’s blood, he added.
Godi said that Shozi had previously released a comparable app but then removed it.
According to Shozi’s affidavit, she was not informed or given permission for her eldest daughter to be transported from Durban to Johannesburg, and she has not been permitted to see her since.
“I would often have a WhatsApp video call but I have since been blocked by the helper and have no access to the child at all,” she said.
Shozi claims in court documents that Mkhize and Mpisane had started negotiating a parenting plan with her former attorneys, but she has turned down a settlement offer.
“I cannot bring myself to negotiate a settlement concerning my child and her abductors. I would have been amenable to entertain any settlement negotiations with [Mpisane] if the child is returned home where she should be,” states Shozi.
Shozi said that Mpisane had harassed, intimidated, and insulted her over the phone in her affidavit from the previous year, and she had secured a protection order against him.
Her lawyer, Mabu Marweshe of Marweshe Attorneys, said: “Her former attorneys tried to negotiate with [Mkhize and Mpisane] to bring back the child all was in vain.”
Marweshe said Shozi is “stressed and emotional hence you see her turning to the courts for help”.