Govender now set to name her abusive former lover

2018-10-30 16:40
Vanessa Govender at the book signing of her memoir Beaten but Not Broken at Scottsville Mall on Monday.

Vanessa Govender at the book signing of her memoir Beaten but Not Broken at Scottsville Mall on Monday. (Ian Carbutt)

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Former star Lotus FM presenter Vanessa Govender says she is considering naming her abuser.

Govender, widely hailed for speaking out against the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former lover, was speaking at The Mall at Scottsville where she presented her memoir Beaten but not Broken.

The book is based on her five-year relationship with a former Lotus FM jock, during which she was severely abused. Though she opted not to name the abuser in her memoir, Govender said she was now reassessing her decision.

“Following articles that have come out in some newspapers, I am seriously considering naming him,” she said. “It is not a decision that I will take lightly, it is something that I will do in consultation with legal experts, my publisher and my family.”

The 41-year-old said writing the book had taken her to a dark place.

“I have always known that I wanted to write the story. I never knew that it would be of any worth or value. I never thought anybody would want to publish it. When I started writing, it was to heal.”

She recalled an incident where her former lover assaulted and raped her at the SABC building.

“We had had an argument. I wasn’t taking his calls. I read the bulletin. He walked into the studio and stood behind the presenter who was going on air after I was done with the news bulletin. He was facing me; the presenter’s back was towards him.”

Govender said that from his body language, she could tell that she was in trouble.

“His arms were folded and his jaws clenched. The whole room shifted. The fear, the tension, it was palpable. The presenter was oblivious. I could feel trouble brewing,” she recalled.

When she finished the bulletin, as she walked out, she said that the former jock walked out first.

“I was behind him. He turned around and he slapped me with such force it pushed me back onto the door and it flung open.”

She said while the presenter asked if everything was okay, she could not answer.

“He answered for me and just as the door closed, he raised his leg and kicked me in my stomach.”

She said she endured more punches before she was raped in an office at the SABC.

She was 22 at the time.

Govender said that for 10 years, she had suffered from post-traumatic stress as a result of the abuse she endured.

In the wake of the recent “sexual predator” probe at Lotus FM, Govender said the rot at the station was “deep rooted”.

“There are men who use Lotus FM as their personal playground to prey on young staffers.”

Govender, who has also recently testified at the SABC commission of inquiry on the allegations of sexual harassment at the radio station, said she did it to give more women power to speak out.

“People become power hungry, they become lustful on the power that they have and they use it to create their brothels, that is what is happening there.

“I am happy that the rot is being exposed because there is only good that can come from it. For the rot to be cleaned, we have to know where it is and who is involved,” she added.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  book launch

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