Caution- readers should take note that Punchaat (talking ill of someone else) is detested in all religions. The only reason the Laudium Sun publishes the Punchaat column is to reflect one of the realities of our society, which is Punchaat, Punchaat and more Punchaat. People need to respect each other’s privacy, be it that of family members or friends. Let us as a society stop the Punchaat so that we the Laudium Sun, need no longer reflect this scourge.

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With the unprecedented crime and corruption plaguing our society currently, we are so steeped in our woes and misfortune caused by these problems that we never pause to contemplate the root cause of all these complications. If I could sum it up in two simple words, I would put it down to ‘moral decay’. If our individual morals have diminished to such an extent that we only care about our own selfish needs, then how can we expect to uphold strong moral values on a societal let alone national level. My despondent attitude stems from my recent experience of witnessing this moral rot within my own family.

My older sister ZZZ was married to RRR for almost two years in what we assumed was a fairytale marriage until she recently got divorced, around four months back, after catching her husband cheating on her. RRR’s late dad who had been a very prominent figure in the LLL society had also been a close friend of my dad, whom he had schooled with. He had always joked around with my father that his son RRR would marry my sister ZZZ one day, so that their friendship would be sealed and they would become relatives. Unfortunately RRR’s dad passed away when RRR was still in high school forcing the eldest son, SSS, who was 10 years older than RRR to shoulder the responsibility of the family business, and the running of the household. RRR joined his older brother in the business after completing school and a few years later as RRR approached the age of 25 his mother and brother decided to find a suitable girl for him to marry. Although RRR protested saying that he was not yet ready for marriage, nobody gave him a hearing. Coincidentally at the same time in January 2020 his mother happened to bump into my parents at a mutual friend’s birthday party and this triggered the memory of her late husband’s wish for RRR to marry ZZZ. My 23 year old sister ZZZ had just completed her Accounting degree and had sent out applications to various companies in search of an intern position to complete her articles as a Chartered Accountant. Unfortunately her timing could not have been worse as the Corona virus took the world by storm and life came to a standstill for our entire country during March 2020 leaving her jobless. My sister sat moping around at home praying to the Almighty for guidance regarding her future studies and career prospects. A few months later in August 2020 RRR and his family surprised us with a proposal for my sister. ZZZ was not keen on marriage as she still wanted to further her studies, but upon the insistence of my mother who viewed life as precious and very short after she had almost lost her life to the virus in the first bout of the pandemic, ZZZ reluctantly accepted RRR’s proposal. Due to Covid restrictions and functions being limited to no more than 50 guests, ZZZ and RRR were betrothed in December 2020 in a small little function held at our home with only immediate family members from both sides present.

RRR and ZZZ bought a home in EEE security estate close to her in-laws. Whenever we met my sister she seemed happy and settled in her married life and RRR fitted in perfectly with our family. RRR convinced his wife to give up on the idea of studying and to remain at home as he claimed that they should not wait too long to start a family. ZZZ adored her husband and agreed to his every whim without a second thought. In terms of finances RRR was very stable and made sure that he provided amply for my sister. ZZZ got along very well with her mother-in-law, but it was her sister-in-law, SSS’s wife who took a special liking to my sister and made her transition into their family as easy and effortless as possible.

ZZZ was particularly fond of SSS’s two lovely daughters who were seven and five years old. After completing her household chores she ended up spending most afternoons with her sister in-law and the kids. Twenty months into her blissful marriage, ZZZ and her sister-in-law drove one Friday afternoon to LLL to drop the little girls off at a birthday party. As they pulled into one of the streets, while driving to the party, ZZZ saw RRR’s car pulling into an unfamiliar driveway and then strangely, straight into this house’s garage which closed as soon as his car pulled inside. Her sister-in-law was so busy talking to her little girls that she did not notice this incident, so my sister whose suspicions were deeply aroused since her husband ought to have been at work, kept her mouth shut and instead made a mental note of the address in question. After dropping the kids off at the party, my sister made an excuse that she needed to return back home to her house, instead of going to her sister in-laws place. This she did as she wanted to be at home before RRR returned from work. Upon his arrival, my sister casually questioned her husband about his day at work and he remarked how tired he was as he had not had a moment free the entire afternoon, due to the heavy work load at the office. He claimed to have been offloading a container at work which had taken up his whole afternoon. By now ZZZ realised that she was definitely onto something due to her husband’s lies so when RRR rushed to take a shower, ZZZ started going through his phone which he had left on the bedside table. RRR himself had given his wife his phone’s pin code as he always insisted that there should be no secrets between the two of them. Naturally she found no trace of any suspicious phone calls or messages which she figured RRR would have deleted before returning home. This didn’t deter ZZZ who was quite technologically savvy and whose gut instinct told her that her husband was up to no good, so she spent the next day playing around on Google, until she managed to buy an online undetectable Spyapp which allowed her to install this app on her hubby’s cell phone and which gave her access to all his messages, call lists as well as his GPS location.

ZZZ spent the next three days tracing her hubby’s whereabouts and she noticed that every afternoon at around 2.30 pm he received a thumbs up WhatsApp message and 20 minutes later he could be located via GPS at the same address she had seen him pulling into a few days back. ZZZ decided to use my mum’s car on the fourth day and to spend the morning staking out this house. After two long painstaking hours she finally saw a domestic worker coming out from the yard to leave the trash outside. My sister signalled to her and showed the helper a picture of RRR, explaining that it was her husband whom she wanted to enquire about and she pleaded and shed tears begging the helper for information which she promised to pay her for. After much convincing the lady took pity on her and after negotiating a higher amount for the information, she informed ZZZ that the house belonged to a single mother who worked in Johannesburg and left home early every morning and returned home late each evening. Her only daughter an 18 year old girl in matric came home from school at around 2.30 everyday. As soon as she returned home from school RRR would come to visit her shortly thereafter and spend an hour or two with her in her bedroom. During these times the domestic was instructed to answer the house phone or the front door if somebody came along and to inform them that nobody was at home. ZZZ then begged this lady, as well as offered her more money and a job, if she would open the door for her later that afternoon when RRR came over and allow my sister to enter the house and barge in on RRR and his girlfriend. The lady agreed and at around 3.30pm she messaged my sister to say that she should come over quickly. ZZZ who was already in the area reached the house in 5 minutes upon which the maid opened for her and signalled her to go upstairs and enter the first closed door on the right. ZZZ heard the giggling as she approached the bedroom and with a heavy heart she flung open the door to confirm her worst fear which was not unfounded as she literally caught them in the ‘act’. RRR was shocked out of his mind, but before he could even say anything, ZZZ quickly snapped a photo of the two and ran out of the house and drove straight to her sister-in-laws place through all her tears. Her sister-in-law became so agitated when she was unable to get a sobbing ZZZ to explain what was the matter, that she hurriedly called her husband SSS who rushed home immediately. After giving my sister some sugar water and managing to calm her down, they managed to get the full story out of her. Disgusted and shocked at RRR’s behaviour, SSS summoned his brother over. The minute RRR entered the house, his brother began beating him up and the two ladies had to tear them apart for fear of SSS half killing his sibling. Instead of apologising or acting remorseful, RRR screamed at my sister and demanded to know who the hell did she think she was to spy on him and he threatened her that he would no longer deal with such crap in his life and demanded that she deleted the photo that she took, which he assumed was saved on cloud, as she always does. Before anybody could stop him, RRR pronounced a divorce to ZZZ after which he turned to SSS and blamed him for forcing him to get married in the first place when he was still enjoying his life and had told the family that he was not ready for marriage. SSS and his wife chased RRR out of their home and then called my parents and RRR’s mum over to explain what had transpired. Everybody was shocked and heartbroken, but my parents and ZZZ were clear on one aspect – ZZZ would not remain married to RRR. Nobody argued with their decision as RRR’s family fully accepted that he was clearly in the wrong. Over the next two weeks RRR issued my sister with the other two divorces and my sister began her three month waiting period (Iddat) in her marital home which she felt more comfortable in for the time being while RRR moved out and went to live with his mother.

I stayed with ZZZ during the first month, but thereafter I had to move back home to study as my university exams were approaching. ZZZ’s sister-in-law checked up on her regularly and after a few weeks my sister who had placed her fate in the hands of her Creator started coming to terms with her ordeal and accepting her fate. One morning a few days before her waiting period ended, ZZZ was surprised to find SSS on her doorstep. He explained that he would like to speak to her regarding her future. ZZZ allowed him into the house to give him a hearing as she had always respected him like a father figure instead of as a brother-in-law. SSS wasted no time in getting to the point. ZZZ listened in bewilderment and horror as SSS lewdly offered to take care of her financially and support her in the future if she agreed to be his mistress. He assured her that it would be their little secret and told her that his building business was booming again and his property developments were all on track, thus he could afford to let her live like a queen. My sister stood up angrily and ordered him out of her house, simply too stunned to believe what he was suggesting. At this point SSS tried embracing her and he attempted to touch her inappropriately. ZZZ gave him a hard slap and managed to get out of his grip and ran to lock herself up in her room. SSS calmly told her from the other side of the locked door that she was overreacting and that his offer still stood should she change her mind after thinking over the matter carefully. He then left the house leaving ZZZ so depressed and ashamed for the first two days that she did not utter a word to anybody regarding the matter. Once her fear subsided and anger set in, she called me over and told me everything, but begged me not to tell my parents who she knew would be devastated. ZZZ also felt ashamed and responsible for allowing SSS into the home while she was alone and since SSS was such a well known and influential figure in the community, especially in the religious circles, she feared that nobody would believe her. I tried to convince her to change her mind and tell it all, but she refused as she also didn’t want to break her sister-in-law’s heart with this disturbing revelation. She however said that she did not want to live in that house again, so I helped her to pack up all her belongings and she moved back into our maternal home. After a few days of convincing my sister that it was only fair for SSS’s wife to know about his pathetic behaviour, ZZZ mustered up the courage to call her sister-in-law up and relay the matter to her. However, once again my sister was rendered speechless when her beloved sister-in-law answered the phone and before my sister could even greet her, she accused ZZZ of being a ‘loose rubbish woman’ and a home wrecker who tried to seduce her husband SSS. Before ZZZ could even defend herself, she warned my sister not to ever contact her again or else she would publicly humiliate our family by letting everybody know what a b….. ZZZ was. ZZZ cried and cried and eventually broke the news to my parents which made my dad very ill. Seeing the toll this was taking on my parents, my sister and I decided to ignore her dysfunctional ex in-laws and focus on taking care of our parents instead. When anybody in our extended family asked why ZZZ was divorced, we simply stated that RRR and ZZZ were mutually incompatible and could not get along, so they both decided to part ways. However, a month later, a close friend of ZZZ informed us that SSS and his wife were going around telling people that RRR could simply not carry on in a marriage with an ‘untrustworthy’ woman. By putting it this way it cast doubts on my sister’s character and that was when I decided to write our side of the story in this column.

To all the people who are slandering my sister and you know who you are, please be advised that we will not remain silent and allow you to blacken our family name. To RRR and SSS, all I can say is that you are both utterly shameless and pathetic individuals who will one day be exposed for the creeps that you both are. Remember what comes around, goes around. One day the truth about you two ‘skelms’ will be exposed. To SSS’s wife well shame, I feel you so sorry, but we can’t blame you in anyway for being a dutiful wife and supporting your husband, but I am sure you will very soon see the truth about your husband, as a leopard does not change it’s spots. I am very sure that SSS will try his luck with another woman in a vulnerable position and you will come to find out about it, so it is only a matter of time. I hope this article, opens the eyes of all women reading it. You cannot just trust anyone blindly. Even our religion is clear. Other than your mahram, you cannot allow yourself to be alone with any other man. Remember also that if people have a good name in public, it does not define their personal conduct in their homes. Nobody knows what happens behind closed doors. With all these immoral activities going around, it is no wonder that we are facing so much turbulence in our country and the world.

Highly upset sister of a former wife and sister-in-law.

This column is sponsored by: STR Roadworthy