Victim’s cyber misery

Kavitha Sofia Nerputh.

Pietermaritzburg businesswoman Kavitha Sofia Nerputh is on a mission to put an end to vicious rumours circulating on fake Facebook profiles she alleges was created by a former friend.
Nerputh (39) who owns the Forever Well Tea company has had the case for her protection order of harassment against Yugeshnie Reddy also known as ‘Bhaktin Geshy’ or Geshy Singh postponed five times in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

Yugeshnie Reddy.

Reddy has, in her opposing affidavit, denied the allegations and claimed that Nerputh is damaging her professional reputation and standing in the community. She requested the matter be dismissed and penalties applied to the complainant.
Faced with fake Facebook profiles that use her photographs and derogatory comments about her working as a prostitute and sex trader, Nerputh said in court papers the harassment started about a year ago when she was in the process of setting up her tea business.
Nerputh in her statement to the court explained she and Reddy became friends through a mutual friend and on Facebook.
“I started to distance myself from Yugeshnie after I found the constant problems in her marriage and other aspects of her life consuming my valuable time. Since I started setting up my business Yugeshnie began instigating trouble in my life. I have been incessantly harassed by Yugeshnie Reddy. She constantly contacts people including family and friends claiming to have material to prove that I am a prostitute and was married to a thief. She is challenging the paternity of my four-year-old child. I am recently widowed and cannot cope with the mental stress this woman’s harassment is causing me. She alleges that I have made threats to her which is not true. She has called me as well as messaged me to inform me that she will publish a Facebook page to tarnish my reputation. I am a business woman about to launch a new brand that she wishes to harm. I cannot afford to have a brand I have invested millions in to be tarnished,” said Nerputh in court papers.
It is further alleged in court papers that Reddy informed Nerputh she would start a smear campaign against her on Facebook because she (Nerputh) threatened Reddy.
The protection order seeks to prevent the publishing of material actual or photo-shopped about Ms Nerputh on any social media, contacting her in any manner, harming or making negative comments about businesses belonging to Nerputh.
Reddy, represented by attorney Naren Sangham, in her responding affidavit denied all allegations against her. She claimed to be a prominent financial planner and finance editor for the local Estcourt newspaper and a chairperson for Food for Life Estcourt. It has since been confirmed that Reddy is not a financial editor of any publication but rather a voluntary contributor to a local newspaper in Estcourt.
Nerputh, represented by attorney Siva Chetty, will request for a harassment interdict against Reddy when the case will be heard on August 17 at the Family Court.
Chetty said, “Reddy started an intense campaign of hatred against my client which is in the public domain. The on-going social media harassment hasn’t stopped. There is clearly a severe form of harassment and torment against Ms Nerputh in the form of cyber bullying. I will be looking into the Electronic Communications Act and other pieces of legislature relevant to this type of case.”
The case has been adjourned to August 17.

  AUTHOR
Keroshini Paltu

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