Picture Shan Pillay Adv Govindasamy in the Pietermaritzburg high court yesterday on a charge of rape.

Durban - Senior Durban advocate Mike Govindasamy was on Monday accused of “desperately” hiring a private investigator to “dig up the dirt” on a young relative who accuses him of indecently assaulting and raping her in an attempt to bolster his claims that she is a liar.

The investigator was pulled off the case after the State threatened to withdraw Govindasamy’s bail for interfering with a witness.

But Govindasamy, who has pleaded not guilty before Judge Fikile Mokgohloa, said there was nothing desperate or sinister in this, as he had just been following up information from Cape Town that the young woman had lied on a number of occasions.

The advocate gave evidence earlier this year claiming that the relative, who called him “Uncle Mike”, had made up the stories about the sexual assaults, because he had threatened to tell her father that she had worked as a “tequila girl” at a Cape Town club.

Govindasamy accuses her of having deep psychological issues and a history of lying.

When the trial resumed on Monday, Govindasamy conceded under cross-examination by state advocate Dorian Paver that he was well-respected by his family and even the complainant had a “deep-seated respect” for him.

And yet, Paver pointed out, she had made the allegations and persisted with them, even though her entire family except for her father, had sided with Govindasamy, and her own brother was going to testify against her.

Govindasamy said he had never approached the girl’s father about his suspicions regarding why she had laid the “false” charges against him.

He claimed it was “common knowledge”, that she had a personality disorder and the State had been made aware of this.

But Paver said there was no evidence to support this.

He also suggested that Govindasamy’s explanation about exposing her “tequila girl days” to her father made no sense, because she had not made the rape allegation to her father, but to an aunt and then a psychologist.

“And it was only after much soul-searching that she decided to approach the police because of the implications to the family at large. That is not consistent with somebody hell-bent on falsely implicating you.”

Govindasamy said he was “completely innocent” and the complainant, who could “walk out of here and get on with her life”, did not stand to go to jail.

The Mercury