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Appeals Court to rule on 'homewreckers'

The court will decide whether the right to claim damages for adultery is still relevant in modern socety.

The Supreme Court of Appeal Bloemfontein. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will hear arguments today as to whether the right to claim damages for adultery is still relevant in modern society.

The court will hear legal arguments in a case where a Gauteng man, identified only as 'R', was ordered by the High Court in Pretoria to pay R75,000 in damages to his rival, identified as 'D', for alienation of affection.

It will have to decide whether this type of legal action can still be used by an aggrieved spouse against a third party and whether someone can still be held financially liable for wrecking a marriage.

The court at the time ordered that the parties not be identified, as 'D' has two young children.

'D''s wife left him and had an affair with 'R'.

Her aggrieved husband turned to the courts for damages for losing his wife's affections.

However, 'R' felt that 'D''s wife was in any event unhappy.

But a Pretoria judge did not agree and ordered him to pay.

'R' wants the Appeals Court to overturn this order, or to at least reduce the amount of damages as he feels he is not at fault.