Durban – A CHATSWORTH man who created fake profiles of several men and women and placed their details on websites advertising sexual services was granted R5 000 bail in the Durban Regional Court yesterday .
Mohammed Hoosen, 35, who used the alias Idries, is accused of criminal defamation under the Electronic Communications Act. The victims, five women and two men known to Hoosen, cannot be named.
According to the charge sheet, between May 2020 and May 2021 in the Chatsworth area, Hoosen unlawfully and intentionally published a post on a social media site Locanto, containing defamatory allegations of a serious nature pertaining to two women.
Hoosen allegedly published a post on Locanto with their images alongside other nude images in sexual poses. He posted their cellular phone numbers and stated they were offering sexual services.
One of the victims, a man, alleged that Hoosen posted a message on WhatsApp of him and his family, including their residential address, in an advertisement. The advertisement stated that the victim was convincing young women to join his church to join his private escort services and that the victim was operating an escort service.
A Durban truck owner alleged that Hoosen published and distributed posts on WhatsApp of him and his wife alongside other nude images in provocative poses. His address was also included. The advert stated that his wife was offering sexual services.
Two victims, in uMlazi and Durban, alleged that Hoosen published and distributed WhatsApp messages with their images alongside nude pictures in sexual positions.
Hoosen is accused of two counts of contravening the Electronic Communications Act, computer-related extortion, fraud and forgery.
Between August 2020 and March 2021, Hoosen allegedly unlawfully and intentionally impaired the dignity or infringe the privacy of or insulted one of the women by sending her several WhatsApp text messages showing advertisements of her offering sexual services.
Hoosen also faces two charges of intimidation. Hoosen allegedly told one of the victims to shut down their company or he would continue to create and distribute false images /adverts stating she offers sexual services.
His attorney Christina Wilson said one of the victims was Hoosen’s wife and said they were going through a divorce. They did not live together. She told the court that Hoosen had a kidney infection and needed dialysis treatment. Wilson argued that Hoosen was also a victim of cyberbullying and said Hoosen intended on pleading not guilty to the charges.
Magistrate Farieda Mohamed ordered Hoosen not to communicate with any of the witnesses and adjourned the matter until July 8, 2021.
On Facebook, one of the victims posted in June 2020 that she had been violated and abused on social media. Her aim was to let people know that “when you see this type of abuse on a social media platform, do not be quick to add to it and sensationalise posts about women that may have a deeper effect than we realise”.
“Let us come together as a human race and sift out this abuse when we see it.”