Former acting judge acquitted of raping niece

2015-06-09 14:16
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Durban - A former acting judge said on Tuesday that he wanted to "move on" after being acquitted on rape charges in the Ramsgate High Court.

Advocate Mayakisten "Mike" Govindasamy hugged his wife, daughter and son moments after Judge Fikile Mokgohloa handed down her verdict.

Govindasamy was accused of indecently assaulting his niece in 2007 while she lay in the bed between him and his wife. He was also accused of raping the girl in 2010 in his bedroom after his wife had left the house to attend prayers.

He admitted that the girl had been in the bedroom on both occasions, but denied ever touching her.

Mokgohloa ruled that the evidence of the girl, and that of an aunt who corroborated the girl's testimony, could not be trusted.

She said that although the girl conceded during her testimony that she had lied frequently in previous incidents, it was disturbing that she had never owned up to the various incidents, even after she was caught out.

It emerged that the girl had previously falsely accused her flatmate in Cape Town of burglary and was subsequently charged with perjury.

Govindasamy claimed the girl initiated the rape charge after he threatened to expose her to her family for working as a "tequila girl" at a bar where patrons put money inside her skimpy clothing.

Evidence not reliable

Mokgohloa said the court was entitled to rely on the testimony of a single witness - the girl - but the problem was that her testimony was inconsistent with statements she had given police.

She said the girl's inclination to lie was a worrying factor.

"I am not comfortable with finding her evidence to be reliable," she said.

Govindasamy's lawyer Murray Pitman said the acquittal vindicated his client.

Govindasamy said: "I am relieved. From my perspective this child needs a lot of help and we have been telling the family that for a long time."

"We are not elated about this. She is family. Nobody wants to go through this. But what has been most amazing is that we as a family, my wife and my children, have stood together."

He said at this stage he was not considering compensation for being falsely charged, but that he simply wanted to "move on" with his life.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime

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