Amy'Leigh kidnapping: Only one accused has made a formal confession

2019-09-20 15:56
Tharina Human (27), Laetitia Nel (40) and Pieter van Zyl (50). (Papi Morake, Son)

Tharina Human (27), Laetitia Nel (40) and Pieter van Zyl (50). (Papi Morake, Son)

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Only one of the three people accused of kidnapping 6-year-old Amy'Leigh de Jager outside her Vanderbijlpark school on September 2, has made a formal confession.

The three accused, Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl appeared in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court on Friday for the continuation of their bail application, which started on Thursday.

During the cross-examination of the investigating officer, Constable Clayton Motloung, it emerged that only Nel had made a formal confession after she was arrested.

READ: Teacher, co-accused fear for their lives, ask to be transferred from 'Sun City' prison

Motloung also testified that Nel told police everything and showed them where Human and Van Zyl were.

The court also heard that after Human was arrested, she told police that she wanted to confess, but later reneged following advice from her former legal representative

Motloung said Van Zyl also didn’t confess but that he said what he did was stupid.

The investigating officer did not provide context or say what van Zyl meant.

They could do it again

While under cross-examination by Nel's attorney, Stoffel Venter, Motloung maintained that the three accused should not be granted bail because they could re-offend.

"The accused before this court [are] a danger to women and children," Motloung said.

"One of the persons that was affected by this crime is the mother of the child. She got injured when the child was kidnapped."

WATCH | 'I stand by her' - father of Amy'Leigh kidnapping accused

He further explained that all three accused where in a financial conundrum, adding: "[It's] possible that they can do it again. They need money, they all need money."

Nel, who has two children of her own, began crying in the dock when Motloung testified that she was a danger to children.

One suspect still at large

The court further heard that the man who snatched De Jager outside of her school was still at large.

Motloung said he worked for one of the accused and was roped into the kidnapping the night before it happened.


News24 previously reported that Human, who is a Grade RR teacher at Laerskool Kollegepark, the same school that De Jager attends, is also a good friend of the De Jager family.  

Human apparently cooked up the plan because she was in debt with drug lords, according to the according to a WhatsApp voice note the teacher's father, Riaan Botha, sent to a family member shortly after she was arrested.

READ MORE| Amy'Leigh kidnapping: 5-year-old brother was initially grabbed, court hears

Her father confirmed the authenticity of the voice note, which also relayed information that Human was the mastermind behind the kidnapping of De Jager.

After initially demanding R2m as ransom, her kidnappers abandoned their plan and released the six-year-old girl.

The bail application is expected to continue on October 1 when the defence is expected to present its case.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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