‘Advocate offered me tea after rape’

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Durban - A woman has told the Durban High Court that a senior advocate stroked her hair and asked her if she wanted hot chocolate or tea after he allegedly raped her.

She was testifying during cross-examination by defence lawyer Murray Pitman yesterday in the trial of Mike Govindasamy, who is charged with rape and indecent assault.

The complainant, who by law cannot be identified, disputed evidence to be led by Govindasamy’s son, Kshetra, that his father was having porridge and reading in bed at the time the alleged offence was committed.

“Kshetra came to the door and asked if I wanted to go to the beach. Mike jumped off of me and I didn’t respond. Mike went to the bathroom and Kshetra left. When Mike came back he stroked my hair and asked if I wanted hot chocolate or tea.”

The 57-year-old advocate, who has acted as a judge, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he indecently assaulted the woman in 2007, when she was about 16, and raped her in 2010, when she was 19. She alleges both incidents occurred in Govindasamy’s bedroom in his Effingham Heights home. The indecent assault, she alleges, occurred while she slept between him and his wife, and the rape, while she slept on a mattress in their bedroom.

In her testimony yesterday she said: “I tried to turn to get away from him. I attempted to fight back, but he had me in a very strong grip. It was difficult for me to move.”

She said Govindasamy lay on top of her tummy with his legs entwined around hers while he assaulted her.

In his plea statement, Govindasamy said the charges against him were false and initiated after he threatened to report the woman’s “unbecoming” conduct as a “tequila girl”, in a Cape Town nightclub, to her father. He said he had confronted the woman about her alleged conduct after he overheard one of her cellphone conversations. The woman denied this.

Her evidence was halted as she was not fit to proceed after the lunch adjournment. The trial continues today.

rizwana.umar@inl.co.za

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