Alleged stalker granted bail on strict conditions

2015-10-22 09:42
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Pietermaritzburg - Alleged stalker Nesim-Ul-Ganie Essa (54) was on Wednesday granted bail of R2 000 on strict conditions.

Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati ordered that Essa was only permitted to be in the northern areas of Pietermaritzburg pending the outcome of his trial.

He is charged with contravening a protection order obtained against him by his former therapist.

The Witness has not named the woman, who said she could be compromised professionally and also feared for her safety if her identity was revealed.

Essa’s attorney, Anand Pillay, lodged an appeal in the high court yesterday after Magistrate Rose Sepeng refused to grant him bail on October 2.

Judge Poyo-Dlwati said she had decided to grant him bail after considering all the facts, including a concession by the state that Essa, a head of department at Union Park Primary School, had not yet been convicted of an offence.

However, the judge stipulated that he would have to adhere to strict conditions to ensure that he does not go anywhere near where the woman lives or works, and keeps away from her.

Applying for Essa to be given bail, Pillay submitted that he might be in prison for up to three months before his trial began. He said Essa had been a teacher for the past 31 years and could lose his job if he was not granted bail.

Pillay submitted that the magistrate had failed to take into account that he is married, has two children, and owns assets. He said there was no evidence that Essa had threatened the woman, and suggested her fears and those of the investigating officer, Piet van Zanten, were “baseless and purely speculative”.

He said the woman stated in her affidavit that when she confronted Essa about giving her gifts, he had apologised and said the gifts were to “show appreciation” and that he saw her “as a daughter”.

Essa, who admits abusing alcohol, is charged with two counts of contravening a harassment order for allegedly “stalking” the woman by following her, sending her messages and lingering outside her work and home.

The woman said Essa had continued to stalk her prior to his eventual arrest, despite warnings from her colleagues and the police.

He is due to appear in court again on November 3.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court  |  bail

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