Given what Amy’Leigh de Jager has been through, it’s no surprise that she has been left somewhat traumatised.
The third term of school began yesterday and according to prosecutor Luanda Ngcobo, Amy’Leigh’s parents had to beg her to return to the scene of her kidnapping, Laerskool Kollegepark.
Three suspects – Tharina Human, 27, Laetitia Nel, 40, and Pieter van Zyl, 50 – are currently on trial at the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court, with a fourth suspect having his court appearance postponed until today.
Reporting below from TimesLIVE:
“I spoke to the mother this morning. She said they had to beg her to go to school. She is frightened. She’s traumatised,” Ngcobo [said].
She said Amy’Leigh had been sick and admitted to hospital.
“She was diagnosed [with a] stomach ulcer. According to the doctor it’s because of what happened,” Ngcobo said…
“People are tired of things that are happening in our country where children are involved. There were other children who saw what happened [at Laerskool Kollegepark]. They are also traumatised.
“As I was consulting with the mother [Angeline, pictured with Wynand De Jager above], she said whenever she comes back from court Amy’Leigh wants to know what has happened,” Ngcobo said.
Ngcobo added that if the suspects were to be granted bail, Amy’Leigh’s parents fear that their daughter would refuse to return to school.
When you consider that one of the suspects, Tharina Human, was close friends with the family (and even sent consoling voice notes in the hours following the kidnapping), it’s easy to understand Amy’Leigh’s apprehension.
Ngcobo also outlined how Tharina, the alleged mastermind behind the operation, had run through a few different kidnapping scenarios, before returning to why bail should not be granted.
Again from TimesLIVE:
She said Human had allegedly devised three ways to execute the plan.
“She first offered herself to be kidnapped. She then offered her sister-in-law. They tried to execute their plan to kidnap the sister-in-law, but the plan did not succeed.”
“Which child is going to be a victim if they get released on bail? The Nigerian man is still waiting for his money. He wants his money. It’s no longer about the money now, but him being exposed. He is angry he has been exposed. They are going to endanger the public and themselves if they are out there,” Ngcobo said.
An investigating officer at the child protection unit previously testified that Human owed a Nigerian a lot of money. He purportedly threatened to make it back out of Human’s daughter. He said they allegedly planned the kidnapping to bail out her own daughter.
The defence’s legal team argued that the three suspects should be granted bail, and refuted allegations that they would endanger the public if released.
Magistrate Hussain Khota said he would deliver his judgment on October 11.
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