Amy’Leigh’s younger brother was the first to be grabbed, court hears

Amy’Leigh’s younger brother was the first to be grabbed, court hears

Tharina Human in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court yesterday. Image: Jannie du Plessis/Vaal Weekblad

An investigating officer said a fourth suspect, a man who is still at large, first grabbed the 5-year-old boy but left him and kidnapped Amy’Leigh instead before fleeing in a white Toyota Fortuner.

The younger brother of 6-year-old Amy’Leigh de Jager was the first to be grabbed on the day that four men snatched her in front of Laerskool Kollegepark in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng.

This evidence emerged in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court on Thursday in the bail application of three people who were arrested for Amy’Leigh’s kidnapping and other charges.

Investigating officer, Constable Clayton Motloung, testified on Thursday that a fourth suspect, a man who is still at large, first grabbed the 5-year-old boy but left him and kidnapped Amy’Leigh instead before fleeing in a white Toyota Fortuner.

“There is a… male who grabbed the minor on the day of the crime. It is understood that he was staying behind accused 3’s residence,” Motloung said.

Peter Jacobus van Zyl is accused number three and his co-accused are Tharina Human, who taught at Amy’Leigh’s school, and Laetitia Nel.

The Grade R girl was kidnapped at around 07:40 on Monday, September 2, 2019, News24 previously reported.

Motloung told the court that she was returned in the early hours of the Tuesday morning to the police station and that a couple claimed that they found her at a tavern called Infinity.

Medical assessments established that the child was not physically harmed during the ordeal.

According to Motloung, Human owed money to someone and this motivated her to commit the kidnapping.

“When I approached accused one, Human, she told me that she was owing a Nigerian guy money and she needed the money,” he said.

He told the court that the three accused initially planned to kidnap Human herself. This plan was abandoned and it was decided that another family member would be kidnapped. The family member, however, would not go along with the plan, Motloung said.

The plan was then changed to kidnap Human’s 8-year-old daughter. But eventually, they settled on kidnapping Amy’Leigh.

Human shook her head while Motloung made this claim.

Motloung implored the court to deny the accused bail.

“This is a serious offence and the nation is currently outraged due to crimes against women and children,” he added.

He is also of the view that the close relationship Human once shared with the victim’s family could lead to the intimidation of witnesses.

The matter continues.

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