The former wife of a KwaZulu-Natal pastor emerged the winner in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday when she reached a settlement with his former lover who, she claimed, broke up her marriage.
Olive Gounden, the ex-wife of the founder of the Vision Apostolic Christian Church in Northdale, Pastor Moganathan “Prega” Gounden, had sued Cynthia Rajagopaul for R300 000 in damages, plus legal fees.
She claimed R100 000 each for alienation of affection, adultery and the loss of her husband’s “comfort, society, services and financial support”.
The matter was set down for trial but they settled on Wednesday.
Olive Gounden’s attorney, Shamla Pather, said the parties could not disclose the terms of the settlement agreement as it was confidential.
However, she said her client, who lived in America and was present for the case, was pleased.
Rajagopaul’s attorney, Sanet Botha, said her client was also happy.
She confirmed that Rajagopaul – who was married while the affair occurred – was still with her husband.
The Goundens were married in 1980 and had three children together.
It was stated in court papers that the affair started in 1990 and continued until 2011. It began when Rajagopaul’s husband was a junior pastor in the church.
Olive Gounden claimed Rajagopaul “induced and enticed” her husband to end his marriage and, when Olive found out about the affair, she sought advice from church elders.
The couple then moved to America in 2000 in a bid to save their marriage. However, the affair continued when he used to travel back to KZN.
The Goundens were divorced in Tennessee in March 2010.
During proceedings there, Gounden allegedly admitted he had committed adultery with Rajagopaul. He also told the court that he had been excommunicated from the church in Pietermaritzburg after his ex-wife forwarded copies of telephone conversations he had with Rajagopaul to the church.
After the divorce, the pastor married again in the US. He lives there and preaches at different churches around the world.
In her responding affidavit, Rajagopaul, a jewellery shop owner, said she began the affair with the pastor only after he had separated from his wife.
She denied having asked him to leave his wife to pursue a relationship with her.