Top lawyer on rape rap

2013-02-05 00:00

A DURBAN advocate who at one stage also sat as an acting judge in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court now stands accused of sexually molesting and raping a female relative.

Mayakisten “Mike” Govindasamy, SC, is alleged to have first indecently assaulted the woman, now in her twenties, by fondling her while she shared a bed with him and his wife, Muniamma.

According to the Durban high court indictment, the teenager was visiting Govindasamy’s family and spent the night at his Effingham Heights residence in 2007.

The exact date of the alleged offence was not provided to the prosecution.

When she visited the family three years later, on July 17, 2010 he is alleged to have raped her using his finger while she slept on a mattress in his bedroom.

The team representing Govindasamy was accused by state advocate Dorian Paver of trying to “colour” the complainant’s character before she testified.

Govindasamy’s counsel, Murray Pitman, handed the court a bulky set of documents which, he said, set out the basis for his client’s defence.

“Our defence is that the complainant is not a credible witness,” he said.

It was their contention, he said, that the young woman suffered from a “personality disorder”.

Paver objected to the documents. He accused Pitman of trying to tender evidence and to attack the complainant’s character before the case had started, under the guise of setting out a plea.

Judge Fikile Mokgohloa also expressed misgivings, saying a quick glance at the documents revealed that a psychiatrist’s letter as well as extracts from Facebook were attached to the plea.

She said she had not come across a plea being tendered in such a way and added that if the court allowed hearsay evidence without authentication, it would be a miscarriage of justice.

Pitman insisted that they had the right to set out the factual basis of Govindasamy’s defence, and said corroborating witnesses would be called.

He argued that if the court disallowed the plea and supporting documents to be admitted, it would prevent Govindasamy getting a fair trial.

“This document was drafted by senior counsel, the same senior counsel who represented Jacob Zuma at his rape trial,” said Pitman.

After adjourning and summoning Pitman and Paver to see her in chambers, Mokgohloa postponed the case until today for further legal argument.

Govindasamy, who was supported by a small group of family members, pleaded not guilty to both charges of indecent assault and rape.

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