Therapist opposes bail for former patient

2015-10-01 10:42

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Pietermaritzburg - A therapist at a Pietermaritzburg rehabilitation clinic has told a magistrate in an affidavit she’s afraid for her life and her family due to persistent harassment and stalking by a former patient.

The woman, whose name has been withheld for her protection, is opposing a bail application by Nesim-Ul-Ganie-Essa (54), who is a deputy principal at a city school.

She has asked the magistrate, Rose Sepeng, to hold him accountable for his actions and the “emotional damage” he has caused her and her family for seven months. She said his initial harassment escalated to “stalking” her at work and at home and he won’t stop.

She alleges that he has already twice violated a protection from harassment order she obtained in June, and ignored repeated warnings from herself, her colleagues and police to keep away from her.

The woman says Essa, whom she knows as “Ganie”, attended her clinic as a group therapy patient and says he has been harassing her since March 17.

“It started with inappropriate lavish gifts that were anonymously delivered to my place of work. It then proceeded to text messages of inappropriate admiration and eventually threatening messages and calls to my personal cellphone … This harassment proceeded to stalking me at work and at home,” she said.

She said he started following her and parking outside her work and her home.

She had to change her number to stop Essa contacting her.

The woman never gave him her phone number or residential details or encouraged his behaviour. “I have no relationship with the client apart that he is a former patient.”

In an affidavit prepared by Essa’s new attorney, Anand Pillay, Essa states that he has been abusing alcohol for a period of time by “binge drinking”.

He said his drinking has reached a stage where it is impacting on his work and family life and he realises he is in desperate need of help.

He said he has enlisted the help of his wife, who has arranged for him to be institutionalised at a treatment centre at Merebank, Durban.

He is ready to “rid” himself of his problem in order to be a better person, he said.

Essa said keeping him in prison would not assist him, and if he is released on bail he can receive appropriate treatment.

In his affidavit, the investigating officer, Captain Piet van Zanten, said even though Essa was previously arrested and detained, he did not stay away from the victim.

Van Zanten said it was not in the interests of justice that Essa be given bail as the victim is terrified for her life and he poses a threat to her.

Sepeng will give a ruling tomorrow.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court  |  bail

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