- * This story contains details of abuse
- A mother shares the heartbreaking story of her daughter's murder.
- My daughter's life was a nightmare after she broke up with her abusive boyfriend.
- He followed her, went up to her vehicle and shot her in cold blood after prolonged episodes of abuse.
The pain is evident in Jessica Shah’s voice as she recalls the day her 25-year-old daughter, Sasha Lee Monique Shah, was killed.
"She woke up that Sunday morning and had breakfast. She watched a bit of TV, went for a swim, and then got ready to go out. She was going to Westville," says Jessica.
"I kissed her and told her that I loved her and to call me when she gets there. She told me she was going to first stop at Dischem at Gateway Mall in Umhlanga. When she was done with her shopping, she went back to her car. He came up to her while she was in the driver’s seat and started shooting."
Jessica's voice breaks, "My daughter did not call him to meet her there, as people have said. He followed her, went up to her vehicle, shot her in cold blood, and that was it."
The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal honours graduate in accounting died allegedly at the hands of her former boyfriend, Kyle Inderlall, who then turned the gun on himself in the car park of Gateway Mall in October this year. Jessica describes her daughter as very kind, soft-hearted and passive.
"Throughout her schooling career, she received awards for most subjects. She was always at the top of her class. In her matric year, she was diagnosed with Bell's palsy, a condition that causes sudden weakness in the muscles on one side of the face. She had only 10 percent eyesight in one eye, but she still wrote her matric exams and did well," says the mother.
Sasha met Kyle while they were still in high school.
"They were in the same class. In her matric year, he expressed interest in dating her – that was in 2016. He was her first boyfriend. They started dating after matric. He seemed like a good person; we treated him like family," Jessica says, adding that around November 2021, they discovered that Inderlall was seeing someone else while still in a relationship with Sasha.
That's when their relationship started deteriorating.
"I sent her to a psychologist for counselling in terms of a way forward regarding her relationship. My daughter lived a nightmare after the breakup. He refused to let her leave him," Jessica says.
Even though she had a protection order against him, it didn't stop him from stalking her. "We even pleaded with his family to help us because he wouldn't leave my daughter alone. My child was being stalked and traumatised by her ex-boyfriend, but they seemed to turn a blind eye," she says.
The protection order. Image supplied
Sasha was granted an interim protection order against her ex, who she described as emotionally and physically abusive. Jessica has posted snippets of the protection order on a Facebook page she created after Sasha's murder – In Loving Memory of Sasha Lee Monique Shah.
Jessica describes one incident that stood out. "A family member and I had gone out for lunch with Sasha when she received a message from Kyle saying that he was parked outside our home and had removed one of her tyres. ‘When you’re ready to talk to me, let me know, and I will bring your tyre’, he said," the heartbroken mother shares.
"He also blackmailed her with nude pictures that he had taken of her. He threatened to distribute them at her place of employment. She had blocked him on all platforms, but he would get new sim cards and message her. If she didn’t respond, he would message me."
Jessica reads out snippets from her daughter’s protection order, "My ex- boyfriend refuses to break up with me. He has abused me physically and emotionally. He threatens to kill himself and says it will be my fault. When I blocked him, he still contacted me from an unknown number and called almost 100 times a day. He waits outside my place of work."
"My child lived a nightmare," Jessica says.
"She would call me before she left for the office and when she arrived at work. I would ask if he followed her, and she would say yes, she had seen him follow her. She once went to a shop, and when she turned around, he was behind her. He would park outside our house and refuse to leave. He wanted to see if she was going anywhere and with whom."
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Sasha eventually confided in her mother about the nude pictures.
"He was blackmailing her with those pictures. I know that many young people have been in this situation before, especially if an ex has nude pics of them. It may be embarrassing, but my advice to any young woman in this situation is not to give in. Don’t allow yourself to be blackmailed and murdered the way my child was," Jessica says.
"I know that people are saying that my child called him to Gateway the day she was shot, but the truth is that he removed his number plates and followed my child. He got out of his vehicle, went to her vehicle and killed her."
Jessica believes that had police complied with the court order to confiscate his weapon; her daughter would still be alive.
"I keep expecting my child to walk through the door any minute. We haven’t come to terms with her death. It is absolutely horrifying. We used to be close to Kyle’s family before the breakup, but they have not even come to us and apologised for their son’s actions," Jessica says.
"I would say to parents who are raising sons that it's important to teach them to respect others. I made sure my children were disciplined from young. I taught them to respect everyone around them. I raised my son and daughter as equals and equally valued. It’s so important to raise our sons to be men of integrity."