Amy’Leigh De Jager’s name became a household name when she was kidnapped and dramatic details have surfaced since her safe return.
According to original reports, the six-year-old girl was abducted from her mother’s car in front of her Vanderbijlpark school, Laërskool Kollegepark on September 2 by four men who then bundled her into a white Toyota Fortuner and drove off.
During the battle, in which the girls mother, Angeline suffered a shoulder injury, they pushed Amy’Leigh’s brother out of the way to get to her. Angeline attempted to hold onto the get-away vehicle but was unable to do so.
It was then reported by EWN that the Grade R pupil’s grandfather, Martin Brouwer understood that a R2-million ransom had been requested.
Found dumped on the street and crying
The daughter of F1 powerboat racer, Wynand de Jager was found by a couple, Hendrik Brandt (25) and Savannah Kriel (22) who were on their way home from a pub at around 2am on Tuesday, September 3. She had been dumped on Heroult Street and was cold and thirsty.
The area where Amy’Leigh was found is near the Shakespeare Inn Hotel in Vanderbijlpark and is notoriously dangerous.
The family were relieved, saying that it was the longest 19 hours of their lives.
After a medical examination which revealed that Amy’Leigh was unharmed, she requested a burger and to see her five-year-old brother, Jayden.
A private investigator on the case, Wendy Pascoe, explained that it was clearly a targeted kidnapping and it was very unusual that they had returned her so promptly.
Close friend and teacher arrested for the abduction
On the morning of Thursday, September 5, Angeline was shocked to discover that a close friend, who is also a teacher at the Kollegepark Primary School had been arrested in connection with the abduction, along with two men.
It was alleged that the 27-year-old teacher attempted to use the kidnapping to pay her drug debt which ran into hundred of thousands of rands.
The accused confessed to kidnapping
During their appearance in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Count on September 19, Tharina Human and Laetitia Nel complained about the appalling conditions they had experienced in Sun City prison in Johannesburg, where they share the facility with 70 other inmates.
During their arrest with Pieter van Zyl, Nel confessed to having been involved in the abduction while she claimed that Human, a Grade $$ teacher at the Kollegepark Primary School was the ‘mastermind’ behind the operation.
The court showed no sympathy to the women’s plea to be moved to a better facility since it was revealed that Amy’Leigh had been kept in a filthy dungeon type room before her release.
The plot thickens
Investigating office, Constable Clayton Motloung told the court that he was told that the initial plan was to kidnap Human herself as she is in debt to a Nigerian man.
The plan then changed to the kidnapping of another family member but that family member refused to go along with the idea.
The accused then discussed kidnapping Human’s 8-year-old daughter before they eventually agreed to kidnap Amy’Leigh.
The forth suspect arrested on Monday
The forth suspect, a 24-year-old male whose name has not yet been released, was arrested on Monday and on charges of kidnapping.
According to Motloung, the man was not involved in the plan and only became involved hours before the incident when he was instructed to grab Amy’Leigh and put her into the vehicle.
He will remain in custody until he appears in court for the formal bail application on October 5.