Durban - The father of a young woman who claims she was indecently assaulted and raped by senior Durban advocate Mike Govindasamy said Govindasamy’s wife, Sylvia, had met him and asked that the criminal charges be dropped because it was tearing the family apart, “could lead to a divorce” and “everybody makes mistakes”.

“She said that whatever damages had been incurred, they were willing to make good,” the father, who cannot be named, testified before Durban High Court Judge Fikile Mokgohloa on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old complainant, who is distantly related to Govindasamy, alleges that he indecently assaulted her in 2007 when she about 17 and then raped her in 2010 when she was 19.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

On Tuesday her father, a principal who does not live or work in South Africa, recalled the day he had been told about the alleged offences.

His said daughter had been in hospital for meningitis and he had been called in to speak to a psychologist, who told him his daughter had been sexually molested.

“I went outside the hospital and cried,” the father said, wiping tears from his eyes.

He said after his daughter had laid the criminal charge, there were many attempts, some by his children, the complainant’s siblings, to have a “family discussion” and for the matter not to go to court.

He said he had SMSed Govindasamy and had told him he would meet him, but that he would tell the prosecution about it.

“Govindasamy sent a message saying if I did that, he would have further charges laid against him.

He said a meeting between himself, Sylvia and one of her daughters had taken place in Cape Town.

He said he and his daughter had agreed to consider dropping the charges to keep the peace, but said it would only be done after a family meeting and if the prosecution was told of it.

Sylvia had contacted him later saying these conditions had not been agreed to.

In his plea, Govindasamy claimed the woman had laid the false charge against him because he had threatened to expose her “lascivious and unbecoming conduct” as a “tequila girl” in a Cape Town nightclub.

Cross-examination of the complainant was to continue on Thursday and her father is to continue testifying ton Friday.

The Mercury