'Fiona Harvey' woman is an impostor

2019-02-11 13:40
A woman claiming to be Fiona Harvey is an imposter.

A woman claiming to be Fiona Harvey is an imposter. (File)

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The woman who has come forward claiming to be missing Pietermaritzburg woman Fiona Harvey is an imposter.

An investigation by Weekend Witness can reveal that the woman calling herself Lea Sloane who came out publicly claiming to have been abducted in the late 1980s in the infamous Gert van Rooyen case is actually a Durban woman named Jacqueline Sloane.

Sloane’s coming forward coincided with the investigation into Van Rooyen’s kidnappings, gaining renewed interest by former investigators and concerned members of the public. 

Van Rooyen allegedly kidnapped five girls in a spree between 1988 and 1989. One girl managed to escape.

He was allegedly helped by his partner, Joey Haarhoff. Van Rooyen shot dead Haarhoff then himself while being pursued by police in 1990.

Harvey was kidnapped while on her way to a shop to buy milk in the suburb of Clarendon in 1989. She was just 12 years old at the time.

Not a single trace of any of the five girls has been found some 30 years later.

In a Sunday newspaper report claiming Sloane is currently 41 — suggesting she would be the same age as Harvey — she had recounted “extreme sexual abuse by Van Rooyen and Haarhoff”.

The Witness previously revealed that police ran a DNA test on Sloane and confirmed she isn’t Harvey.

And Weekend Witness can reveal that Sloane was actually born in 1983, making her 35. She grew up in Durban and lived in Queensburgh and Montclair, and has five siblings from whom she is now estranged.

A person’s search revealed in the last decade she spent time living in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

Sloane’s brother, Melvin, said she had a history of preying on people’s sympathy for financial gain.

“I was on Facebook when I saw an article with Jacqui’s picture on it. When I read it I wasn’t surprised. She does this all the time: she tries to use people and gain their sympathy.

“She has been off the rails since our parents died when we were younger, and when she gets caught out by people she just disappears,” he said.

Melvin said he has not seen his sister in about 15 years, and spoke to her about three years ago. He provided Weekend Witness with photographs of his sister and her siblings when they were children.

He said he and Jacqueline grew up together with their grandparents in Queensburgh and then she went off to live in Montclair.

“The only thing I’m upset about is her bringing down our family name. Our entire family feels this way. The best thing would be for the authorities to catch her.”

A lawyer representing Jacqueline Sloane, Nico Fourie, was sent a detailed query concerning these allegations this week. He responded saying it was not in the interest of his client to respond to the questions now “as it will create a fragmented process of unravelling the issues in question”.

Fourie said they would respond when it “is opportune to do so”.

Leon Nel, the private investigator who was quoted in the media as having brought Sloane forward, refused to comment, taking issue with previous reports on this matter by The Witness.

This case has recently been rejuvenated after a petition was launched imploring Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to appoint an investigating officer dedicated to this one case.

The original investigating officer on Harvey’s case, now-retired Don Chandler, has taken the matter up in his personal capacity once again.

He believes more girls were kidnapped by Van Rooyen. 
Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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