oa De Rebus - Pain and no gain - should there be compensation for innocent spouses against third parties? : case note

Volume 2015, Issue 557
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



This story is by no means unique: High School friends become lovers, get married, have children and portray the picturesque middle-class suburban family...until one spouse steps outside of the marriage and commits adultery. Such is the story of DE and RH. In this case the plaintiff's wife (Mrs H) moved out of the matrimonial home and instituted divorce proceedings against the plaintiff because the marriage had irretrievably broken down. The plaintiff alleged that the marriage had broken down because of an adulterous affair that Mrs H was having with the defendant. Mrs H alleged that her marriage had broken down prior to her relationship with the defendant and that she only became romantically involved with the defendant after she had left the marital home. The plaintiff sued the defendant in the Gauteng Division, Pretoria (GP) for injury and insult to self-esteem (contumelia) and loss of comfort and society (consortium) of his spouse. The High Court agreed and awarded the plaintiff R 75 000 for damages with interest and costs.

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