I met him at a barbecue at a beachside bungalow in Bakoven, Cape Town. I was 25. He was 23. He was my hosts’ neighbour. The connection was not immediate. We only started dating a few years later when we were both in our 30s – and it changed my life. Not in a good way.
My name is Cynthia Walley and I am a survivor, having endured 24 years of continuous stalking, harassment, physical crimes and cyber crimes perpetrated against me by a wealthy ex-boyfriend, Andy Miszewski, a Cape Town-based businessman.
Being stalked has invaded and disrupted all areas of my life but it does not define who I am. My ordeal has taught me I have reserves of physical and emotional resilience I would never have guessed and has made me appreciate my family (including my late Mom) and my friends, who have supported me and helped me where they could, only to become targets themselves for Miszewski’s crimes and invasive tactics. My resilience has been tested not only by him, but by the failure of the South African Police and Judicial systems, and employed officials, to do their jobs in investigating my case and bringing him to book.
On 3 December 2022, I arrived to live on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia, a country I escaped to from South Africa, in an attempt to bring my nightmare to an end, and to reclaim my life. Unfortunately, Miszewski has continued his cyberstalking of me and my friends, and interfered with my access to companies with which I engage online. To date his tactics against me in Australia include:
- Interference in December 2022 during setting up my au account, an Australian Government website used to access, claim and link a range of services. The words “just now” a South African catchphrase popped up intermittently in the actual documentation on the laptop screen. I used a relative Helen Krog’s laptop during December 2022 to set it up accompanied by an existing gmail account. I also set up a new gmail account on her laptop.
- The tapping of my WhatsApp phone calls on my Australian iPhone (Australian mobile network provider, Telstra) with my friend, Liz Parker, in New Zealand on her mobile phone. The first incident took place on 24 December. Immediately after the phone call, Liz sent off emails to two friends, neither of which arrived in their respective inboxes. The second tapping incident with Liz Parker took place on 2 January 2023 during which the image of an unknown Labrador burst onto my iPhone screen. (Liz’s WhatsApp profile features a photo of her lőwchen breed dog.) On 4 January 2023 Liz Parker and I inadvertently discovered that Andy Miszewski is using South African mobile number +27 72 213 3041 to tap our phone calls to each other (me in Australia, her in New Zealand).
- On 7 January 2023 I used my Australian iPhone to stream to Channel 7 Plus on my TV. To ensure I knew of his presence, that he knew I was watching TV, he sent the message below to my South African MTN mobile phone on which I currently have international roaming.
On 9 January 2023, Miszewski changed the time for a job interview on Microsoft Teams for 10 January 2023 to 6.30am on the notification in my email. The correct interview time was 2.30pm.On the day at the appointed 2.30pm timeslot, I was unable to join the interview via the Microsoft Teams mobile App on my iPhone. It just wouldn’t connect.
- On 18 January 2023 he hacked the IT network at the Maroochydore Public Library where I had used the public computers at the library to access my new gmail account. That was his route in to the library’s network. On 20 January 2023 my login to the library computers at the Maroochydore branch was initially denied even though I was using the correct membership number and password. On 24 January 2023 my access was initially denied at the Kawana Public Library. That has become the pattern. Both Maroochydore and Kawana are on the same IT network, that of the Sunshine Coast Council library group.
- On 19 January 2023 Miszewski repeatedly cut off the streaming connection from my Australian iPhone to Channel 9 while I was watching the Australian Open Tennis Championships.
- On 21 January 2023 I discovered Miszewski had removed my right to work verification on my profile on SEEK www.seek.com.au the country’s largest job site.
Steps Taken in Australia
- On 4 January 2023 I reported Miszewski to the Australian Centre for Cybercrime.
- On 5 January 2023 I reported Miszewski to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner.
- On 9 January 2023 I contacted the office of my Queensland State MP, Fiona Simpson; her office referred my case to Federal MP for Fisher, Andrew Wallace from whom I have received feedback.
Australian Stalking Laws and Prosecutions
Australia has laws to address both physical stalking and cyberstalking which is not to say there aren’t cases with tragic consequences. There are. But, there are also examples where investigations, charges and convictions have been achieved, one of the most recent being that of Melbourne cyber stalker, Lydia Abdelmalek, dubbed the Catfish Stalker by the media. In October 2022, Abdelmalek received a four year prison sentence for her crimes.
Why is Miszewki Stalking Me?
When Andy Miszewski and I began dating, I had a glamorous job as deputy editor of Cosmopolitan magazine in South Africa. He was a player, rich, good looking, a successful businessman and fun – but uninterested in commitment. I decided to move on. In 1993, he spent the last six months of that year making harassing, hang up phone calls to me at the magazine publishing company I worked for in Johannesburg, Then, he suddenly stopped, for reasons unknown. In 1998 he resumed his stalking activities intermittently, and from 1999 on an ongoing, continuous basis. In 2001 I returned to live in South Africa from Australia by which time he was married with two daughters, and subsequently had a third daughter. Was it a case of: Who did I think I was to walk away from him? Or, was it a case of regret on his part, a reminder of what could have, might have been? Only he knows the real answer to the question.
Miszewski, the ISP Mogul and Master Criminal
One of the key factors in Miszewski’s campaign of crime against me, and my family and friends, has been his arsenal of technology, equipment and expertise. He is a major shareholder in one of South Africa’s largest Internet Service Providers, an ISP called Web Africa www.webafrica.co.za and owns an Internet company called
1-grid www.https:1-grid.com Both Webafrica and 1-grid operate in South Africa but are registered in Mauritius.
Miszewski was the original angel investor who financed Webafrica, started by two teenagers in the garage of a Cape Town home. He remains a major shareholder but you won’t find details about him on any public profiles about the company. You won’t find any public connection he has to 1-grid either. He keeps below the radar. His crimes and his psychopathic behaviour are however an open secret, particularly in Cape Town. Even the Chairman of Webafrica, Christoff Botha, knows about them.
Ironically, Webafrica is a regular participant in think tanks on the crime risks that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like they as a company face – all when one of its major shareholders, Andy Miszewski, is himself committing a long list of cybercrimes and has been doing so for a very long time! The Global Initiative Against Strategic Organised Crime led by Durban-based journalist, Greg Ardé, is but one example. This is one of the many ironies in my case. Another key factor has been Miszewski’s immense wealth. He has bribed at least one senior South African Police official that I know of and he has a least one henchman who has carried out physical crimes against me and whom I have had the misfortune to encounter. Physical crimes orchestrated against me by Miszewski include three burglaries at my home (in one instance the theft of two dining room chairs), damage to my car and the repeated poisoning of my two cats. The henchman’s name is Pelser and he lives in Alberton, a satellite town to Johannesburg. Pelser’s wife, Susan Strydom Pelser, runs a company called Ledomain Safety Clothing that previously supplied Vulcania Steel Reinforcing, one of Miszewski’s companies with heavy duty clothing
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE CASE FILES
I opened the first South African Police case file against Andy Miszewski at a Johannesburg Police Station in May 2009. Four more South African Police case files followed plus I provided top-up reports to officials on to whom my case was passed over the years. Over the course of 13 years, since opening the first case file against Miszewski, I have encountered South African police and justice officials who were incompetent, uninterested, corrupt, lazy, inexperienced and under resourced particularly in the cyber and stalking sectors, as well as various permutations thereof.
The most unprofessional has been NPA State Advocate, Adele Carstens. At a meeting with her on 17 July 2019, at which juncture my first blog was up and running, she suggested that I should find something else to blog about. She told me rich people got away with stuff, adding that was the way of the world and citing wealthy American paedophile Jeffrey Epstein as an example. Admittedly, this was before Epstein hanged himself in a New York prison cell on 19 August 2019!
In January 2020, prior to the official onset of COVID, I contacted the office of the National Director of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in South Africa, Shamila Batohi. My case was referred (back) to the Johannesburg branch where the previous year I had the disappointing experience with NPA State Advocate Adele Carstens. This time around it was assigned to NPA State Advocate, Namika Kowlas, and Capt Punchoo from the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit.
There are however two people in South Africa who genuinely tried to help me in my efforts to have my case investigated, and to get Miszewski to stop. One is Senior NPA Prosecutor, John Metswamere, and the other is the Democratic Alliance Party Shadow Minister of Police, Dianne Kohler-Barnard. Independently of each other, they both officially tried to have my case fully investigated in 2010/2011. They were unsuccessful. From 2017 to 2019 John Metswamere, in his current role at the National Prosecuting Authority, once again tried to have my case appropriately investigated but was hampered by internal protocols and internal politics at the NPA.
SELECTED MISZEWSKI TACTICS 2020 to 2022
Phones and Laptops
Miszewski has a tapping device on my South African MTN mobile phone/SIM and a camera device in the face of the handset enabling him to capture images and text on screen including WhatsApp messages, before I can delete them. He has repeatedly hacked my email accounts and also my laptop. It means he knows everything about me, as well as everyone in my life and everything in their lives including their online accounts and passwords. Everything about everything.
His interferences on my Samsung handset and MTN SIM card and the MTN network have brought me into frequent contact with the Head of MTN’s Forensic Unit, Ashley Taylor.
MTN was a lifesaver, particularly during the peak of the COVID pandemic. There were instances when their investigations showed my MTN SIM was still connected on the MTN network but physical investigation of my handset by Ashley Taylor or his colleague Shad Kobane verified my SIM was disabled, would not even work in their own handsets. In such circumstances they helped by implementing SIMS swaps although in some instances the SIM swap would not authenticate immediately, only did so days after the swapped SIM device had been inserted into my phone handset.
MTN was not always able to help. When I spent a week in hospital in August 2022, my Samsung handset would not even recharge using other rechargers or at alternative plug points, Miszewski’s objective being to block me from communicating with my friends while I was in hospital, and them with me.
Miszewski’s blocking of phone calls, interception of emails, the removal of email addresses from databases, the removal of files and the loading of false information on IT networks and accounts (mine and people I know) are among his bread and butter tactics.
In 2021 he removed my email address from the alumni association at Danville Park Girls High School, in 2022, I missed out on at least two contract writing assignments that I know of and in my last month in South Africa, he blocked my emails to Pickfords Removers to prevent me submitting my insurance and valuation quotations to the company.
During the course of 2022 he also interfered with the email accounts of at least four friends that I know of, in one instance permanently blocking friend, Robin Welch from invoicing a regular client. In addition, he bombarded Robin with late-night, hang-up phone calls made using South African 013-prefix phone numbers.
Other mayhem Miszewski implemented affected two friends with whom I played lawn bowls. In the case of Terry Bulkin, Miszewski removed the record of his membership payment from the IT network of Old Parktonian Sports Club and in the case of Alon Kissos, Miszewski removed all the data from his mobile phone device, not only his contact list but every document and file he had stored on the phone. These are but a few examples of his bread and butter handiwork
Included in Miszewski’s arsenal of technology is some kind of GPS/satellite equipment. During 2022 he disabled the electronic gates to the property where I lived and interfered with my TV signal so that I received sound but no image. He was also destroyed plug power points in my home, and even (remotely) annihilated an old-fashioned, battery-operated alarm clock. These incidents always happened after I had seemingly caused Miszewski some kind of displeasure such as advising my friends their email problems had been caused by his interference and booking a consultation with Pickfords Removals to leave the country
In Life and in Death
At the beginning of 2020, Miszewski blocked monthly pension fund payments from financial services company Alexander Forbes to my then 86-year-old mother, Renate Harper. Later that year, in August and again in December 2020, he created shortfalls in her monthly medical insurance contributions to Key Health. Also in 2020, he changed selected blood test codes to gobbled gook on a pathology bill from Lancet which resulted in the claim being rejected by Key Health. By the time I picked up the interference, the submission period for claims had expired, which means that my late Mom’s estate, i.e. me as the beneficiary, has to foot the more than R8 000 bill (approximately AU$750).
In 2021, he has hacked the IT networks and removed files pivotal to wrapping up her estate. The title deeds for the retirement unit my late Mom owned “disappeared” from the IT network of the Government Deeds Office in Durban and a Sanlam investment policy she held “disappeared” from the IT network of that company. At that point, First National Bank executor Devania Naidoo issued a fraud alert and started paying attention about interference. Fortunately my Mom was not computer literate and there were hard copies of investments and holdings in her files. In September 2021 the Department of Justice’s IT network in Durban was hacked, causing significant delays in processing deceased estates.
At the beginning of his stalking campaign, Miszewski made thousands of harassing hang-up phone calls to me using predominantly mobile phone numbers. In 2017, he began using 087 prefix VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) numbers to make the harassing calls and to send me threatening SMS messages, the same time that Webafrica, the ISP in which he is a major shareholder, began offering VOIP services to clients. Essentially he is using the 087 prefix numbers of his/Webafrica’s own clients to make harassing calls to me and send me threatening text messages!
During the 2020/2022 period under review in this section, he bombarded me daily with scores of threatening emails for life insurance, funeral plans and car insurance (the latter to remind me of the damage he orchestrated to my vehicle Car Sabotage – Twice, below). Sometimes he personalised the emails, for example, by inserting the word “Mo” into the subject line, Mo being the nickname by which he was previously known. Sometimes he didn’t have to personalise his criminal handiwork, sometimes the timing and the delivery mechanism ensured I knew they were from him. One example is the SMSes I was bombarded with, regularly, simultaneously, ostensibly from Lancet and ostensibly from Pick n Pay’s Pet Club, the former to remind me of his role in the rejection of the Lancet claim by my late Mom’s medical insurance company, the latter to remind me of his ongoing orchestrated poisoning of my two cats, details of which follow below, Poisoning My Cats
After I made email or telephonic enquiries about the progress in the wrapping up my late Mom’s estate, I would receive SMSes from Andy Miszewski like the one below, to remind me about his hacking of Sanlam’s IT network and the removal of my late Mom’s investment policy from their network and his removal of the title deeds to her retirement property from the network of the Deeds Office in Durban.
My South African and Australian Bank accounts
His interference in my South African bank accounts included disabling the functionality of my bank cards at the three ATMS within closest proximity to where I lived. Large white flashes appeared on screen when I inserted the cards into the ATM machines, and the cards would be rejected. He also loaded beneficiaries on to my account (not to effect illegal transactions but as an irritant), and changed the figures on bank statements in my email. It brought him to the attention of the bank’s forensic unit. His interference in the online access to my Australian bank accounts, by intercepting OTP numbers on my mobile phone required to process transactions and by changing my passwords, brought him to the attention of my Australian bank’s digital fraud unit. My Australian bank has a record of his interferences in my online accounts dating back to February 2020.
Car Sabotage – Twice
- My 87 year old Mom passed away in the early hours of 16 April 2021 following an operation. Miszewski knew she was having surgery through his tapping mechanism on my MTN mobile phone. Later, that same day, when I was driving to Durban my car broke down outside Warden, 200km from Johannesburg. The gasket blew and there was noticeable damage to the ignition coil. It was very suspicious; the vehicle had undergone a full service by a reputable motor repair and motor service company the month before. The repairs cost R20 000 (approximately AU$ 1,900).
- On 14 June 2021 as I was driving home from an appointment in Johannesburg, my car broke down again. I was unable to reach my mechanic; his number had been blocked on my mobile phone. Miszewski had blocked his number on my phone. The gasket cylinder had blown (the same damage as the first episode) there was no water in the cylinders, the motor had seized. In mechanic speak, the car was hydraulicked. I sold the damaged car. I did not replace it; instead I started walking to destinations in close proximity to my home.
Poisoning my Cats
Starting 21 June 2021, Miszewski had my two cats Parks and Zinta poisoned, the last recorded incident being on 7 November 2022. Three days later they travelled by special pet transportation to their new home with my cousin. In one instance I had to take Zinta, the smaller of the two, to my neighbourhood vet.
Initially, their vomit contained traces of blood, a telltale sign they had been poisoned, and nests fashioned from twigs, as in the image pasted below, were used to cushion and throw the poison over the boundary wall of the property where I lived.
After I photographed the nests and the bloodied vomit there were minor changes in the modus operandi orchestrated by Miszewski (He was hacked into my mobile phone so would have picked up the photos of the blooded vomit and the twig nests.) The poison dosages must have been reduced because there was no longer blood in their vomit. I was unable to identify the new delivery mechanism, or spot the poison, as the vast unruly garden area immediately inside the boundary wall was a permanent deep sea of leaves. But, the vomiting continued as did the threatening SMSes with which he bombarded me, ostensibly from Pick n Pay’s Pet Club, to remind me of his cat-poisoning tactics.
No one else’s pets were poisoned in the street where I lived.
The poisoning/vomit incidents followed action I had taken against him including communications with my attorney Neil Stevens at GSR Attorneys and Capt Punchoo and also occurred after my efforts to try to mitigate his interferences in my life.
The dates and details of the poisoning of Parks and Zinta are recorded in my hard copy diaries, as are most of Miszewski’s other crimes. My dairies and my collection of USB devices accompanied me to Australia.
June 2021 – Zoom
In June 2021 friend and then CEO of Angama safari lodge, Nicky Fitzgerald, hosted a Zoom conference call with investors in the business. Their connection was brought crashing down – by Miszewski. He also disabled her mobile phone handset for three days thereafter. One of the investors participating in that Zoom conference call was the Executive Chairman of the giant Pick n Pay supermarket group in South Africa, Gareth Ackerman. In October 2022 I discovered that selected Pick n Pay stores were selling the Austin range of tinned tuna, food Miszewski imports into South Africa through Riveroak Trading, one of the many companies he owns. Pick n Pay had given shelf space to Andy Miszewski, the man who crashed their Executive Chairman’s Zoom investor meeting!
June 2021 – A Friends Car
Another person who paid a price for her friendship with me during June 2021 was then Carte Blanche TV producer, Diana Lucas. (Carte Blanche is a TV current affairs programme, South Africa’s equivalent of 60 Minutes). Miszewski had the electrical system of her car destroyed. I suggested she contact Capt Punchoo at the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit about the matter but she elected not to do so. She never had anything to do with me again.
Discovery Private Health Insurance
In 2019, Miszewski orchestrated in-store pharmacy fraud on my Discovery medical insurance membership, crimes picked up by Discovery’s forensic unit. Thereafter, he repeatedly interfered with my profile on Discovery’s IT network, blocking claim payments to me and altering claims. In one instance in August 2021 he changed a single physiotherapy claim for R577.20 (approximately AU$50) to a whopping R16,575.60 (approximately AU$1,500) ensuring it would be rejected – and ensuring I would know it was his criminal handiwork,
Discovery regularly sent me emails recommending I set up a password to protect my profile on their IT network, communications he read and had access to given he had hacked my laptop, mobile phone and email accounts. What would have been the point!
A Missed Opportunity
On 11 September 2021 at 11.30am my MTN Samsung mobile handset went black, the phone was dead, disconnected from the network for about five minutes.
The following day, on 12 September 2021 I received an email from Facebook advising me that someone had tried to log onto my Cynthia Walley Facebook account with a new device, an iPhone 11 Pro. It was not me. It was Miszewski; he had bought himself a new mobile phone handset.
I hesitated in responding to Facebook’s “Report the User” button by which time Miszewski implemented a blocker in my email and I was unable to receive the generated report from Facebook. That report would have included the GPS location at which Miszewski inserted his mobile SIM card into his new iPhone 11 Pro. Given that it took place on a Saturday morning, it is highly likely that would have translated to his home address in the Cape Town suburb of Constantia.
My attorney, Neil Stevens at GSR Attorneys in Johannesburg, attempted to acquire a copy of that Facebook report via online enquiry platforms and via a request sent by courier to Facebook’s Legal Department in California. No response was ever received.
The Specialised Commercial Crime Unit’s Capt Punchoo and NPA State Advocate, Namika Kowlas, were copied on communications with Facebook by my attorney Neil Stevens. My Facebook account was not set up on my own device or accessed on any of own devices. The account could very easily have been investigated on the computer it was set up on without Miszewski knowing.
The only investigative step the NPA and Specialised Commercial Crime Unit were prepared to follow in my entire case required I hand in my mobile phone and laptop to join a six month queue for assessment. Even though I repeatedly pointed out that a few days of non usage by me would result in Miszewski removing all traces from the two devices and reminded them of his ownership and access to unlimited technology through his major shareholdings in Webafrica and 1-grid, my pleas fell on deaf ears. Later, Senior NPA State Advocate, Deon Barnard, reiterated the same requirement to join a six month queue. Plus, to add to my frustration, none of them was interested in investigating the physical crimes Miszewski was orchestrating against me.
In 2019 I destroyed my left ankle in a freak hiking accident in the Magaliesberg mountain area outside Johannesburg. The first orthopaedic surgeon who operated and treated me was negligent and my foot became infected. The second one I consulted, the very talented Dr Andrew Strydom, saved my left foot and inserted a ground breaking, cage-like ankle replacement into the back of my foot area. I went for regular check-ups. In June 2022, X-rays showed the infection had returned, nuclear imaging confirmed the diagnosis and the extent of it.
Consensus among Dr Strydom and a group of his esteemed orthopaedic peers was that I had two options: amputation below the left knee or bone transportation also known as bone lengthening. The surgery, treatment and recovery for bone transportation takes at least 12 months. I opted for amputation in order that I could leave South Africa soonest, Miszewski’s ongoing tirade of crime, his interferences preventing me from earning a living, the non-action by police and justice officials, and the lengthy period it had continued unabated, had made my life unbearable.
Dr Strydom knew and understood the reason for my choice. He had not escaped Miszewski’s interferences either; his emails to a nuclear medicine specialist about my infected foot were intercepted by Miszewski causing delays in scheduling critical medical appointments.
I was fortunate to have three very good friends, all members of the Johannesburg Hiking Club, who helped me during my recovery after the amputation of my left foot. I would not have survived without the love, care and support of Eileen Botha, Zandre Lill and Wendy Palm to whom I am forever indebted. I was also fortunate to have been fitted with a good prosthesis and have adjusted to life with it
MISZEWSKI’S DAMAGE CONTROL
Andy Miszewski knew this blog was pending because he hacked my laptop and my email accounts and because he has a tapping device on my Australian mobile phone. A few days before the launch of this blog there were a lot of “coincidences”:
- On 25 January 2023, after an 18 month absence of communications from the Danville Park GHS alumni association I suddenly started receiving emails from them again.
- On 31 January 2023 the executor in my late Mom’s estate advised me that the refund from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) had finally been received. Even by slow SARS standards for which the service is well known, it has been an extraordinarily long delay.
- On 1 February 2023 I could suddenly access the online services of the libraries on the Sunshine Coast Library network without interference or bogus invalid borrower notifications popping up on screen.
IN THE KNOW:
I launched my first blog www.my19yearstalkinghell.co.za in 2018. It ran to 18 posts, the content from which I have stored on a USB device. Post 18, uploaded in June 2021, included a photo from his daughter Lucy Miszewski’s Instagram account featuring Andy Miszewski, Lucy and his wife Dominique.
Andy Miszewski instructed his then attorneys, Bernadt Vukic Potash and Getz (BVPG) in Cape Town to apply to the South African Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) to have my blog taken down on the basis of the photo. Included in BVPG’s submission was the claim I had been stalking him Miszewski for 30 years even though he had never opened one South African police case file against me or initiated a civil suit which as a very wealthy man he could afford to do – if I was the wrong doer. The ISPA contacted my ISP, Afrihost, who took down the blog link. Afterwards, Afrihost conceded they should have contacted me before doing so, particularly when they learnt there were open South African police case files against Andy Miszewski. It was however too late, the link had been taken down.
The reality is that the supposedly offending photo featuring Andy Miszewski, his daughter Lucy and his wife Dominique did not belong to any one of the three of them. Very clearly, the photo was not a selfie. The photo belongs to the unknown person who took the photo, who created it. The usage and re-usage of social media imagery remains a gray area.
I launched a second blog in August 2021, surreptitiously using friends’ mobile phones and a friend’s laptop to set it up. Blog www.23yearstalkinghell.com is still up but features only two posts as Miszewski changed the password on my GoDaddy WordPress account, GoDaddy being a competitor to his own ISP, Webafrica!
Miszewski Fired by His Attorneys
In February 2022 Cape Town law firm Bernadt Vukic Potash and Getz (BVPG) fired Andy Miszewski, their longstanding, lucrative, client for whom they had gone out on a limb, against me, the previous year.