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

2019-09-20 13:31
Tharina Human (27) and Laetitia Nel (40) have been asked to be transferred from their female prison.

Tharina Human (27) and Laetitia Nel (40) have been asked to be transferred from their female prison. (Papi Morake)

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Tharina Human and Laetitia Nel, who are accused of kidnapping 6-year-old Amy'Leigh de Jager, have asked the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate's Court to allow them to be moved from "Sun City" female prison after their lives were allegedly threatened.

Human, Nel and Pieter van Zyl appeared in court for the continuation of their bail application which started on Thursday.

After the State closed its case, the legal representatives for Human and Nel approached the court with an application to have them moved from Johannesburg prison, also known as "Sun City", to a holding cell in a police station until the outcome of the bail application. 

Human's attorney, David Mey, told the court that Human was kept in a cell with 70 other detainees, who had access to the live stream of Wednesday's bail application.

When Human returned to the prison, other detainees started intimidating her and threatened to kill her, based on what they saw, or heard.

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

In the application, the court heard that Human was kept awake the entire night.

"I don't feel safe there," Human told the court in an affidavit Mey read out.

Nel's attorney, Stoffel Venter handed up an affidavit from Nel.

"[It's] clear other inmates had access to the media, they threatened to kill us. We were kept awake the whole night and really feared for our lives," Nel said in the affidavit.

'Nowhere they will not be threatened'

State advocate Luanda Ngcobo opposed the application, explaining to the court that Vanderbijlpark police station did not have holding cells and nearby police stations were full.

Ngcobo said the other police stations were full of illegal immigrants who are waiting to be deported.

"There is nowhere they can be where they will not be threatened," Ngcobo said.

Magistrate Hussain Kotha explained that he would have to dismiss the application until the legal representatives approached the court with reports from police station managers, stating that there was space for the accused to be housed.

He explained while the safety of the accused was a concern, prison cells were meant to protect and house inmates, and police holding cells were just a temporary venue to hold people who had been arrested.

Human, Nel and van Zyl are accused of kidnapping De Jager outside her school on September 2, 2019.

Human is a Grade RR teacher at Laerskool Kollegepark where the six-year-old was kidnapped.

She is a close friend of the De Jager family.

After De Jager was kidnapped, her family was asked to pay ransom of R2m.

De Jager was later released even though the ransom was not paid.

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

Read more on:    amy'leigh de jager  |  johannesburg ­  |  courts  |  crime
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