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Court name
Supreme Court
Case number
Civil Side 85 of 2011

Tania Beverly Banane nee Sicobo vs Giovani Hugh Banane (Civil Side 85 of 2011) [2011] SCSC 97 (02 December 2011);

Media neutral citation
[2011] SCSC 97
Egonda-Ntende, CJ




Egonda-Ntende, CJ



1. The petitioner in this matter is seeking the dissolution of her marriage to the respondent. She married the petitioner on 22nd October 2010. She filed this petition on 10th June 2011. This is approximately 9 months from the time they married. She has sworn to the following facts:

‘6. That petitioner avers that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and that there is no prospect of any reconciliation.                                        

7. That the petitioner and the respondent have lived apart for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the presentation of the petition.                                                                 


a)The parties ceased to cohabit since end of 2010 and have lived apart ever since.     

b) All attempts at reconciliation have failed.’

2. Firstly I cannot fail to observe that this affidavit and petition tell a brazen lie. To claim that the parties who stopped leaving together at the end of 2010 have been living apart for one year at the time of presentation of this petition when this petition was presented in June 2011 is a glaring falsehood. It is a falsehood that was intended to mislead this court. It is a falsehood that counsel acting in this matter must be party too having drafted these documents. On its face it is a clear lie.

3. Parties who come to this court must do so offering to tell the truth rather than peddling falsehoods. As clearly the affidavit in this matter is false on its face I am left with no alternative but to strike it out. As the Petition has no supporting affidavit it is incompetent. It is dismissed.

4. Before I take leave of this matter I would like to draw the attention of counsel that they are officers of this court and should not in any way, by their conduct or omission or otherwise mislead this court.  If they fail in this duty they put their licence to continue and appear before this court in peril for professional misconduct.

5. Secondly counsel ought to know that it is not enough to regurgitate words of a statute such as ‘the marriage has irretrievably broken down’ and stop at that. What is expected of them while drawing petitions for divorce is to set out the essential facts that can give rise to the conclusion that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  Not to disclose such facts on the face of the petition is tantamount to failing to make out a cause of action for which the petition can be dismissed.



Signed, dated and delivered at Victoria this 2nd day of December 2011






FMS Egonda-Ntende

Chief Justice