‘School deputy stalked me’

2015-09-28 10:30
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Pietermaritzburg - The deputy principal of a Pietermaritzburg primary school appeared in court on Friday in connection with an allegation of “stalking” a local professional therapist.

Nesim-Ul-Ganie Essa (54) of Orient Heights is facing a criminal charge of violating a protection from harassment order obtained by his alleged victim.

He is a deputy principal of Union Park Primary school in Northdale.

The court was told that Essa was a former “patient” at the facility where the woman works.

The name of the alleged victim was not revealed on the charge sheet, and The Witness was requested not to publish her name as this could compromise her professionally.

Magistrate Rose Sepeng ordered that Essa be held in custody until September 30 while the state establishes the alleged victim’s safety.

On that day it is likely he will apply for bail.

Sepeng was earlier told by state prosecutor Esmeralda Royappen that the woman has stated in an affidavit which forms part of the evidence that she is afraid for her safety.

“The relationship between them [the victim and accused] was that he was a patient at the place where the complainant works,” said Royappen.

Essa’s attorney Nitesh Binnesarie protested about the delay and accused the investigating officer in the case of “dragging his feet” to effect his client’s arrest.

“I am informed that the court order was allegedly contravened last week already but he [Essa] was only arrested just before the long weekend. Surely the safety of the complainant should have been established long ago?” said Binnesari.

He said it was “peculiar” that police waited until Wednesday, just before the public holiday, to arrest and charge Essa.

Binnesarie urged the court under the circumstances to postpone the bail hearing until today, but Royappen said this would not give the state sufficient time to determine the safety of the victim because of the intervening weekend.

She said she needed time to obtain another affidavit from the victim, as well as from the investigating officer.

According to the charge sheet, Essa is charged with violating a court protection order between May 26 and September 23 this year by “stalking or following the complainant, sending her messages, lingering outside her workplace … as well as her place of residence”.

He was not asked to plead to the charge against him.

The Witness has been reliably informed that it is alleged that after his discharge as a patient at the place where the alleged victim works, Essa had allegedly started contacting the woman.

At first he allegedly initiated anonymous contact by sending her gifts including chocolates and flowers, and then progressed to sending SMS messages to her phone.

Subsequently he allegedly began to follow her and park outside her workplace and home.

It is alleged further that he ignored a protection order obtained against him during July this year, leading to the present charge against him.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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