Woman tells of 2-year stalker nightmare

2018-10-08 11:58
Kavina Rajcoomar has had to deal with a 'stalker' for the last two years.

Kavina Rajcoomar has had to deal with a 'stalker' for the last two years. (Kerushun Pillay, The Witness)

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For two years Kavina Rajcoomar and her family have been receiving "threatening" phone calls from a "stalker" — who went as far as watching her while she was on her balcony.

The Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg mother of one has had to regularly endure "private number" phone calls from the woman, who would swear at, threaten and intimidate her — and tell her friends and family she was having an affair. At the time, Rajcoomar did not know who her stalker was.

The stalker even allegedly set up fake Facebook profiles to slander Rajcoomar's party theme and décor business.

Health24: Taking a look at stalking 

Rajcoomar told Weekend Witness that the "torment" she underwent from her stalker made her paranoid.

"She used to call my boyfriend and say 'check what she's [Rajcoomar] doing on the balcony'. So she was watching me from the street.

"She would phone friends and tell them that I'm 'jolling' with another man. She also knew my whereabouts and would make phone calls and comments about visiting my neighbour and visiting my mother.

Paranoid

"It was making me very paranoid. I didn't know who it could be. I live in a big flat and I suspected my neighbours. I would fight with some of my friends and family ... I stopped talking to so many people.

"Everybody was a suspect. I accused so many people, and I was isolating myself at home," she said.

But last week a breakthrough was made when a section 205 police report — a list of calls received and made from a number, which allows for the unmasking of private number calls — revealed that the alleged culprit was an old acquaintance of Rajcoomar's.

Rajcoomar wasted no time applying for a harassment order against the woman and is now awaiting a court date. "I had suspected it was her when I once recognised her voice on the phone, but when I asked if it was her she denied it.

"She was close to a former manager of mine. She had tried to become my friend but she didn't really fit in. She would also call me after work and sometimes at 7 am and talk for hours. I would get irritated.

"I feel better now that I know who I'm dealing with. I can't believe someone could be so sick...

"A lot of people love me, and I have a loving personality. So I couldn't figure out who would do this."

Rajcoomar said she intends to see the harassment case through, and said she has recorded conversations and screen captured photos of the woman's abuse.

"I knew her as far back as 2011 … and I'm unsure why she messaged me again. Only she can answer that. I wonder if I'm being dragged into something I don't know about."

Police confirmed a case of crimen injuria was under investigation relating to offensive remarks that Rajcoomar received.

Stalking 'can lead to violence'

Psychologist Kevin Fourie described stalking as an obsessive compulsive behaviour that is fundamentally irrational.

He said the stalker believes their "target" wants to be stalked. "The thought process is: 'I have to have this person in my life and, if not, something terrible will happen'."

He explained: "They think that 'this is actually what both of us want'. It's completely irrational, and you can't discuss it with them in a rational way because the person will come up with reasons why you are wrong."

Fourie said stalking can become extreme, and lead to violence. "If the target is not co-operating, then it can turn into anger, and become a revenge-based obsession.

"It's a case of 'if I can't have you then no one can', and that's when it becomes violent. They can even do things like contact your boss and tell them bad things about you."

Collecting evidence key when you're targeted

Private investigator Rick Crouch said someone being stalked should collect evidence of the stalker's behaviour and open a case with the police.

He said people should ensure their social media accounts were secure, and advised people not to accept friend or follow requests from unknown people.

"If you are being cyber stalked or cyber bullied, do not disable your account, because if you disable your account you are unable to collect evidence. Make screen shots of all the communications and save them to a flash drive. Open a case with police."

He advised people to then hire a private investigator who is experienced in cybercrime and would be able to identify the perpetrator and hand that information to police.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  stalking

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