Date-rape doctor gets suspended sanctions for sexual assault on nurse

Organisation: Position: Deadline Date: Location:

A Cape Town doctor who sexually assaulted a colleague after giving her a date-rape drug has been given a five-year suspended sentence by the Health Professions Council of SA and four-year ban by the health department from working in a state facility, writes MedicalBrief.

The doctor may, however, work privately. In terms of the HPCSA sanction, if he offends again within the next five years, he will be struck from the roll.

TimesSelect reports that Dr Srinivasan Govender, 51, had injected a nurse with ketamine before having sex with her at the Khayelitsha Community Health Centre in 2016. He had worked in the public sector for 30 years before being fired after this from Wesfleur Hospital in Atlantis, and charged by the HPCSA with unprofessional conduct and bringing the profession into disrepute.

Only six month after being fired, Govender was working as a locum doctor at Karl Bremer Hospital in Bellville, the Sunday Times revealed.

At the HPCSA hearing, Govender pleaded guilty and said the “error in professional judgement” had taken a toll on his health, marriage and reputation.

“I haven’t been in full-time employment since October 2018. I barely survived with private GP locums. We had to sell our home of 25 years and move into a smaller house.” He said he had been on antidepressants since March.

Testifying on her husband’s behalf, TimesSelect reports, Sandra Govender said her husband was a dedicated doctor who had spurned private practice even when she begged him to branch into it. Dr Janet Giddy, who worked with Govender,  described him as a “dedicated and caring family physician” who was pushed to extremes of stress by hostile managers who imposed rigid targets.

Full TimesSelect report Subscription required


Receive Medical Brief's free weekly e-newsletter



Related Posts

Thank you for subscribing to MedicalBrief


MedicalBrief is Africa’s premier medical news and research weekly newsletter. MedicalBrief is published every Thursday and delivered free of charge by email to over 33 000 health professionals.

Please consider completing the form below. The information you supply is optional and will only be used to compile a demographic profile of our subscribers. Your personal details will never be shared with a third party.


Thank you for taking the time to complete the form.