Pastor’s wife sues over affair

2014-05-12 00:00

TRANSCRIPTS of secretly recorded kinky love talk and “phone sex” between a married KZN pastor and the wife of a junior pastor will be referred to in the course of the trial this week that is sure to set tongues wagging.

Two women are gearing up for a legal battle in the Pietermaritzburg high court this week (on May 14) over an alleged long-standing illicit affair, which could cost the alleged “other woman” R300 000 in damages, plus legal fees if she loses the case.

Transcripts of secretly recorded kinky love talk and “phone sex” between the couple will be referred to in the course of the trial.

The affair is alleged to have spanned more than two decades and survived even after the man and his family moved to America in 2000, ostensibly in a bid to save his teetering marriage.

Behind the lawsuit is Olive Gounden, ex- wife of the founder of the Vision Apostolic Christian Church in Northdale, Pastor Moganathan “Prega” Gounden (64).

She alleges that her ex-husband’s affair with the wife of a then junior pastor in the church, Cynthia Rajagopaul, was responsible for ending their 31-year marriage.

The couple were married in Durban on March 8, 1980 and have three (now grown) children together.

Rajagopaul is opposing the law suit and denies Gounden’s allegations.

In court papers, she states that she and Gounden “shared an intimate close relationship” whilst he and his wife were separated from one another.

She denies especially that she ever asked him to leave Olive Gounden to pursue a relationship with her.

Rajagopaul, a local businesswoman, is reportedly still married to her husband, Paul Rajagopaul, and the pair are said to be involved in running Shunem International Ministries in Pietermaritzburg.

The Witness has learned that Olive Gounden divorced her ex-husband in Tennesee in the United States of America on May 16, 2011, allegedly after hiring private investigators to “bug” her husband’s phone calls and uncovering sordid details of his alleged affair.

The particulars of a claim filed in the Pietermaritzburg high court by Olive Gounden’s attorney, Shamla Pather, allege that between 1990 and May 2011, on various occasions and at places in the jurisdiction of the Pieter­maritzburg high court, Moganathan Gounden and Cynthia Rajagopaul committed adultery.

The papers allege that Rajagopaul intentionally “induced and enticed” Gounden to leave his wife and to conduct an intimate relationship with her, leading to the couple’s divorce.

As a result, Olive Gounden is claiming payment of damages of R100 000 each for alienation of affection, adultery, and the loss of her husband’s “comfort, society, services and financial support”.

According to the court papers, when Olive Gounden suspected her husband of infidelity with Rajagopaul, she sought assistance from the elders of the church.

It is alleged on her behalf that Rajagopaul thereafter “publicly and to the congregation of the church denied having an adulterous relationship with Gounden and claimed that she had sought pastoral guidance and counselling”.

However, in the course of the divorce proceedings in Tennessee, Gounden allegedly admitted in the witness box on March 12, 2010 that he had committed adultery with Rajagopaul.

In her responding plea, Rajagopaul denies the affair.

She also denies that she was placed in a position where she was called on by her church to either admit or deny any relationship with Gounden, or that Gounden admitted (during his divorce proceedings) that he committed adultery with her.

• The Witness was told that Moganathan Gounden — who started the Vision Community Church in Ginger Road in Pietermaritzburg during the 1980s, is still living in the United States. He has reportedly remarried an American woman, and continues to preach for different churches around the globe.

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