Amy'Leigh kidnapping: Teacher and one co-accused to plead guilty

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Tharina Human.
Tharina Human.
Felix Dlangamandla
  • Tharina Human, the former teacher accused of masterminding the kidnapping of Amy'Leigh de Jager last year, intends to plead guilty. 
  • Amy'Leigh was abducted in front of her school in Vanderbijlpark in September last year. 
  • Human's father, Riaan Botha, said the family was relieved about her intended guilty plea. 

Tharina Human, 27, the Grade RR teacher accused of masterminding the kidnapping of Amy'Leigh de Jager in Vanderbijlpark on 2 September last year, intends to plead guilty. 

Human's attorney, David Mey confirmed this to News24.

Four men snatched Amy'Leigh from her mother's car at Laerskool Kollegepark and drove off in a white Toyota Fortuner, News24 previously reported.

Police launched a manhunt while her distraught parents waited at the Vanderbijlpark police station for any news.

Amy'Leigh was dropped off by her kidnappers between 02:00 and 02:30 on 3 September in a street close to The Shakespeare Inn in Vanderbijlpark, after initially demanding R2 million for her release. A man and a woman took her to the Vanderbijlpark police station where she was reunited with her parents.

Plea agreement

Human, who was a close friend of the De Jager family and teacher to Amy'Leigh's younger brother, is one of four people accused of involvement in the kidnapping of the girl, who was 6 years old at the time and in Grade R. She allegedly orchestrated the kidnapping to pay a debt to drug dealers, News24 previously reported.

The trial was set down for this week in the Gauteng High Court, sitting in Palm Ridge, but has been postponed to Thursday. 

Mey said Human would plead guilty after entering into a plea agreement with the State.

READ | Amy'Leigh's mother opens up about kidnapping: 'She isn't coping, it's been two months of hell'

One of her co-accused, Laetitia Nel, 40, also intends to plead guilty, but her matter will be heard before another judge because her attorney, Stoffel Venter, intends to present evidence in mitigation of the State's proposed sentence, Mey said.

The other accused, Pieter Jacobus van Zyl and Bafokeng Molemohi, are also expected to appear in court on Thursday. It isn't clear how they intend to proceed. 

According to the indictment, the four accused allegedly contravened the provisions of Section 18(2)(A) of the Riotous Assemblies Act and have been charged with kidnapping and attempted extortion.

The State alleges that on August 29 the accused unlawfully conspired to kidnap the girl and subsequently did so on September 2. The accused allegedly threatened the girl's father and demanded a R2 million ransom.

ALSO READ | 'There are sickos out there' - arrested teacher to parents just after Amy'Leigh was kidnapped

Family relieved

Human's father, Riaan Botha, told News24 the family was relieved. "I'm grateful that we can now put this behind us." 

Botha said because of the lockdown, he didn't have the opportunity to see his daughter in prison. She has been in custody since her arrest.

"Fortunately, I got to see her [on Monday and Tuesday]. The Lord has blessed us with his mercy," Botha said. 

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