Amy'Leigh kidnapping: two accused will stay in jail, third gets R25,000 bail
Bail of R25,000 has been granted to one of the suspects accused of kidnapping Amy'Leigh de Jager outside a primary school in Vanderbijlpark.
Mother of two Laetitia Nel's bail conditions include reporting to the Vanderbijlpark police station every Wednesday. She is also not allowed to make any contact with state witnesses.
Bail was denied to co-accused Tharina Human, 27, and Pieter van Zyl, 50.
Magistrate Hussain Khota delivered the bail verdict in a packed Vanderbijlpark magistrate's court on Friday morning.
During a brief break following judgment, Human sat in the dock wiping her tears with a white tissue.
Nel, 40, was also in tears, seemingly relieved after she was granted bail.
The court was informed on Friday that a fourth suspect, Bafokeng Molemohi, 24, has abandoned his bail application. At a previous court appearance, the state said the Lesotho national was illegally in the country. He was arrested after the other three and appeared in a different courtroom, also on Friday.
Khota said the court agreed with the state’s argument that it was not in the interests of justice to release Human and Van Zyl on bail.
Counting against Human's release was that she did not have fixed assets, as she was renting a property, and had no fixed employment. Khota said should Human be released, there was a likelihood that she would intimidate state witnesses in the case.
Khota said that Van Zyl was also a flight risk. Van Zyl's property had been sold and therefore he had no permanent residence.
All three, from Vanderbijlpark, had been in custody since their arrest shortly after Amy'Leigh's safe return to her family.
The trio's alleged kidnap and ransom scheme was set in motion on Monday September 2 when four men grabbed the Grade R pupil from her mother, Angeline, outside the gates of Laerskool Kollegepark. They bundled her into a white Toyota Fortuner before speeding off.
When a ransom call was made to her family, police hostage negotiators were called in to broker her safe return - while investigations and a search ensued.
As the net closed in, the hostage takers dropped their ransom demand from R2m to just R6,000 during the negotiations.
Then the little girl was dropped off on a Vanderbijlpark street in the early hours of Tuesday September 3.
She was found by a couple, Hendrik Breedt and Savannah Kriel, who were making their way home from a neighbourhood pub.
They escorted her to a nearby police station, where her parents were waiting, bringing the hostage drama to an end.
Human is the prime suspect. She was employed by the school, teaching Amy'Leigh's brother, Jayden, 5, in Grade RR, and was "best friends" with the children's mother.
The magistrate commented on Friday: "The offence that the applications are charged with is any parent's worst nightmare.
"The court is fundamentally astounded that this girl was left in a compromised area on that night, surely anything could have happened to her."