HER mother is a judge who presided over one of the most high-profile murder trials in recent years and her stepfather is judge president of the Western Cape division of the high court.
But as far as Zara Samuels is concerned, that has nothing to do with anything – and she certainly isn’t about to back away from what she believes she deserves.
Zara (19) is suing her mother, Gayaat Salie-Hlophe – the judge in the Jason Rohde murder trial – for maintenance. She claims her mom kicked her out of the house when she was in matric and refuses to support her.
The teen is now a student at the University of Cape Town but her mother isn’t contributing a cent towards her tuition. Instead her dad, advocate Adrian Samuels, is having to cover it all.
Samuels, who sprang to prominence when he represented Ellen Pakkies in her 2008 murder trial after she killed her drug-addicted son, has been struggling lately as work has been slow as a result of the pandemic.
Zara says after finishing matric in 2019 at Springfield Convent Senior School in Cape Town, she took a gap year and it was only when she filled in varsity application forms last year that she decided to apply for maintenance.
She claims both her parents have a duty to care for her until she’s able to support herself. As a student, she needs financial help.
Zara’s first application, lodged in August last year, was for maintenance from her mom only.
“Then I found out that even though my dad had been supporting me, I still need to apply from him as well. That’s what the court says – when you’re filling in an application for maintenance, it has to go out to both parents.
“The last application went out at the beginning of November.”
Zara has now started her first year as a humanities student, doing a BA in psychology, and says it’s been a stressful time “with everything going on”.
“When I applied for maintenance, I assumed it would be dealt with before I started varsity, but it’s been difficult,” Zara adds. “My dad is paying my fees but by mom hasn’t paid a single cent.”
The fact her mother is a judge is complicating matters.
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