Denise Zimba embroiled in a custody battle with her estranged husband from Germany

A custody battle between television personality Denise Zimba and her estranged husband, Jakob Schlichting, has taken a dramatic turn with the South African government siding with the German father.

Sunday World reports that Schlichting, backed by the Central Authority of the Republic of South Africa (Carsa), is seeking the return of his two children who currently reside with Zimba in South Africa.

The couple, who wed in a lavish ceremony in January 2020, separated during a holiday in Cape Town late last year. Zimba expressed her desire to remain in South Africa with their children, while Schlichting returned to Germany alone. 

Schlichting has since initiated legal proceedings, claiming that Zimba unlawfully removed the children from their habitual residence in Germany. Court documents reveal that Carsa, acting on a request from the Central Authority of Germany, is demanding the children’s return by June 7th.

Renay Kathawaroo, representing Carsa, stated in an affidavit that the couple had agreed to move to Germany in 2016, where Zimba subsequently resigned from her acting and presenting roles. Schlichting later purchased a Cape Town apartment for their visits to South Africa.

Zimba has yet to publicly comment on the legal battle. However, the case raises complex questions surrounding international custody disputes and the rights of parents in bi-national relationships. 

The involvement of the South African government in support of Schlichting adds another layer of complexity to the situation.

It remains to be seen how the court will rule and whether the children will be returned to Germany or remain with their mother in South Africa.

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