Facebook feud goes to trial

2018-09-18 15:45
LEFT: Local businesswoman Kavitha Nerputh is seeking protection following an online feud. RIGHT: Yugeshnie Reddy.

LEFT: Local businesswoman Kavitha Nerputh is seeking protection following an online feud. RIGHT: Yugeshnie Reddy. (Ian Carbutt/Facebook)

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A Facebook feud that resulted in a Pietermaritzburg woman asking the harassment court for protection is due to go to trial later this month.

Businesswoman Kavitha Nerputh alleges the harassment started in July last year. 

Nerputh (40) from Newholmes, the owner of the Forever Well Tea Company, is asking for a court order to stop Yugeshnie Reddy, also known as “Bhaktin Geshy” or Geshy Singh, of Estcourt, from allegedly harassing her online.

Nerputh first went to court in April this year, but the case has been adjourned many times.

While the dispute between the women raged on, The Witness was initially refused permission to report on the case and was forced to bring a formal application before magistrate Zodumo Dlamini to publicise the case in the public interest.

The Witness’ attorney, Petrus Coetzee, also pointed out that the case had already appeared in other media.

The Witness was on Monday given permission to report the matter, after Singh’s lawyer, Naren Sangham, withdrew his opposition to the coverage.

On Monday Reddy filed a “counter claim” against Nerputh, which will be argued when the case returns to court for trial on September 28.

In her court papers, Nerputh alleges that she has been a long-suffering victim of harassment by Reddy and said the last straw came when Reddy allegedly contacted her family members claiming to have material to prove that she is a prostitute.

A paternity issue involving Reddy’s husband sparked the online abuse, said Nerputh. She alleges that Reddy created fake Facebook accounts to carry out the harassment of her.

The allegations are denied by Reddy in her replying affidavit.

Reddy, who describes herself in the court documents as a financial planner and finance editor for an Estcourt newspaper, said Nerputh’s application was “deliberately damaging” to her professional reputation as well as her standing in the community.

Nerputh said she and Reddy became friends in 2012 after connecting on Face­book through a mutual friend. However, in 2017 their relationship soured. She alleges it was because they had differing views on how Reddy should deal with the paternity issue.

“Since then, she has been contacting random people she knows I am associated with. She even contacted the estranged wife of a business associate of mine, claiming my youngest daughter is the biological daughter of this woman’s estranged husband,” said Nerputh.

She also alleged that Reddy contacted her ex-husband via Facebook and told him “numerous untruths”.

“I have no idea what this woman wants from me or why she is concerning herself with my life … I have no family connection with this woman and all I want is the court’s help in having her stop meddling in my life and contacting me or my family.”

Nerputh added that Reddy had threatened to publish Facebook pages tarnishing her reputation.

She also claimed that Reddy threatened to go to her daughter’s school to inform the principal that she was an “unfit mother and prostitute”.

“She has also accused me of having an affair with her estranged husband. This is not true. I have not been in a relationship with anyone as I am a new widow,” said Nerputh.

“Nonetheless, I cannot see why Yugeshnie Reddy sees it fit to involve herself in my life. What I do or do not do is none of her concern. Why does she want to manufacture malicious rumours and spread them via Facebook or by calling people associated with me and sharing these made up rumours about me.”

In her replies denying the allegations, Reddy said that Nerputh had called her to inform her that her [Reddy’s] husband’s ex-girlfriend was pregnant, and that she believed him to be the father. She said Nerputh sent her photographs of her husband’s ex-girlfriend and said she believed it was Nerputh’s intention to “create discord and friction between my child’s father and myself”.

Reddy claims she was not the one who had contacted Nerputh’s former husband, but said she received a Facebook invitation from him last August. “I was questioned about Nerputh and I believe it was an effort to trick me into defaming her.”

Reddy said she’d received a call from Nerputh and her daughter emanating from the ex-husband’s Facebook profile. She alleges that during that call she had been verbally abused by the two women. “Nerputh ridiculed my religious beliefs and threatened to ‘finish my son and I’. She further continued to harass me despite me ignoring her calls,” alleged Reddy.

The case is to resume on September 28.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  harassment case

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