Accused in viral affair video 'absolutely sorry' for shaming woman
Durban - The woman who terrorised and shamed her partner’s lover on social media, said she is sorry.
Samadhanum “Jane” Andrew, 51, is “absolutely sorry” for “dehumanising” and shaming the woman who had an affair with her partner of 14 years.
Andrew together with her friend Sarah Ishwarlal posted videos on social media of how they terrorised, assaulted and cut off Pravitha Premjith’s hair, after kidnapping her on May 1.
Their plan to name and shame Premjith, who admitted to having a love affair with Andrew’s partner, Bradley Naidoo, through the videos that went viral, backfired as social media users were angered by Andrew and Ishwarlal’s actions.
The women were arrested shortly thereafter and charged with kidnapping, assault and criminal defamation.
On Tuesday, they appeared before Magistrate Anand Maharaj at the Durban Regional Court where Ishwarlal announced a change of attorney and she was asked to return to court in April.
However, Andrew pleaded guilty to the charges. Maharaj fined her R20000 or six months imprisonment, wholly suspended for three years, provided she does not commit similar offences.
He also ordered that she pay immediately R5000 as compensation and issue an unconditional public apology, which must be published in the Sunday Tribune and Post newspapers.
Andrew’s attorney Nugalen (NG) Pillay read out a plea statement on her behalf.
She confirmed that on the day in question she deprived Premjith of her freedom of movement by threatening and forcing her into her car, outside Chatsworth Hotel.
Andrew confirmed holding Premjith against her will for an hour at a nearby flat, where she and Ishwarlal interrogated her about liaisons with Naidoo.
Andrew admitted slapping Premjith on her face and Ishwarlal cutting off her hair.
The women took turns to record the interrogation where Premjith shared details of her intimate interactions with Naidoo.
Andrew admitted to associating herself with the unlawful and intentional posting of the videos.
She accepted that the assault and holding Premjith against her will was wrongful and unlawful.
Pillay added that Andrew was still in a relationship with Naidoo and that his client wanted to apologise for her actions and offered R5000 as compensation.
State prosecutor Surekha Marimuthu submitted a victim impact statement, which detailed how Andrew and Ishwaral’s actions impacted Premjith’s emotional state, family life and physically.
Marimuthu said the charges were serious and arose out of a “crime of passion” and the acts were a violation of Premjith’s human rights.
“We want a public apology and some form of compensation,” Marimuthu said.
Maharaj said the apology must serve the purpose and be sincere.
Andrew, who could be seen mouthing a prayer during sentencing, told the Sunday Tribune afterwards: “I am genuinely remorseful.
“I am absolutely sorry for what I have done to her. I ask that she (Premjith) please forgive me.
“I will never do something like that again because I know the trauma I had to face and the loss I had to endure.”
Andrew said when she learnt that Naidoo had cheated on her, it came as a big shock and responded by acting on her emotions, which was completely out of character.
About Naidoo, Andrew said: “We live in the same house, but we don’t have the same relationship anymore because of what he has done.”
Premjith, who was satisfied with the court outcome, said she hoped to “build bridges” with her own family.
“I want to get on with my life. She (Andrew) knows better now not to do that to someone else,” said Premjith.