Govindasamy tried to get rape charges dropped, says complainant’s father

2013-02-14 00:00

THE father of a young woman who has accused a senior advocate of raping her said the accused made at least four attempts to get his daughter to drop the charges.

“Attempts were made for the matter to not come to court,” the man testified in the high court in Durban yesterday.

The father, who cannot be named to protect his daughter’s identity, said Mayakisten Govindasamy SC made contact with him via SMS.

“I said in my SMS to him, ‘I agree to meet, but please be informed that I will inform the prosecution about the meeting’,” he testified.

He said that Govindasamy had threatened him, saying that charges would be laid against him if he informed the prosecution.

The witness said the first attempt to get the charge withdrawn was made by Sylvia Govindasamy, Mayakisten’s wife, in Cape Town.

“She said her family had been torn apart and the issue could lead to divorce, and that everyone makes mistakes. I asked her ‘Who is everyone?’, and she did not respond.

“I asked her ‘What do you want?’ and she said ‘I want you to drop the charges’.”

The witness said he could not tell whether Sylvia had come to him of her own volition, or if she was acting under Govindasamy’s instructions.

At one stage he broke down during his testimony, saying he had warned his daughter not to spend the night at Govindasamy’s home.

The witness, a relative of Govindasamy, said he told his daughter it was not a good idea to stay over as there would be too many people at the house.

The day before the alleged rape, which occurred on July 26, 2010, the family had thrown Govindasamy a birthday party.

The plaintiff told her father that arrangements for her to sleep over were already made.

“She had packed with the intention of staying over for two nights,” he said.

However, he received a call after the first night from his daughter, who wanted to be picked up.

“She was normally a bubbly person. She looked sad and depressed.”

The week after the alleged incident, his daughter was treated for meningitis. The man said he received a surprise call from a psychologist, who told him Govindasamy had sexually molested his daughter. “I was in shock … I went outside and I just cried,” he said.

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