One of the accused in Vanderbijlpark child kidnapping case intends to reapply for bail

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The four are accused of kidnapping the girl outside her school on 2 September last year.

The case of four people accused of kidnapping a six-year-old Vanderbijlpark girl may see more twists over the next few weeks.

This after the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday that one of them, who had been denied bail, intends to reapply based on new facts that have come to light.

Pieter Jacobus van Zyl, who is the third accused in the matter, through his legal representative Thabelo Tshitaka, informed the court that he intends to reapply for bail. Tshitaka added that he would be requesting a transcript from the clerk’s office before proceeding with the bail application.

Van Zyl appeared in court alongside suspended Grade RR teacher Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Bafokeng Molemohi on Tuesday morning.

The four are accused of kidnapping the girl outside her school on 2 September last year.

State prosecutor Luanda Ngcobo submitted to Magistrate Hussain Kotha that a date for trial in the high court was still unavailable.

According to the indictment, the four accused allegedly contravened the provisions of Section 18(2)(A) of the Riotous Assemblies Act 17 of 1956 by committing conspiracy to commit kidnapping, alternatively attempted kidnapping, kidnapping and attempted extortion.

Human’s lawyer David Mey informed the court that the defence team had been told that an issue regarding DNA was outstanding and would be finalised within two weeks.

The matter was postponed to March 27 in order to obtain a high court date. If the transcript is made available for Van Zyl, a reapplication for bail will also get under way.

Human, Van Zyl and Molemohi remain in custody while Nel’s bail has been extended.

News24 is not naming the girl, following a Constitutional Court ruling in December last year that the media is not allowed to publish the identity of child victims, accused or witnesses in criminal proceedings, even after they reach the age of 18.

News24 previously reported that the apex court had also declared Section 154 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Act constitutionally invalid, because the provision did not protect the identity of child victims of crimes in criminal proceedings.

The section only protected child accused and witnesses, but not victims.

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