Teacher ‘masterminded kidnapping of girl, six, from her South African school and turned round to comfort the grieving mother at the scene
The kidnappers then demanded R 2million, [$132,943], ransom from her powerboat champion father to pay off drug debt’
Amy-Leigh de Jager, six, was snatched from her mother’s arms outside school near Johannesburg a week ago before being dumped by her kidnappers at a street corner 19 hours later
Suspect Elementary school teacher Tharina Human, is friends with the victim’s mother and class teacher for her five-year-old brother at the Kollegepark Primary School in Vanderbijlpark, Johannesburg in SA
So far cops have arrested Human, Laetitia Nel, 40, and Jacobus van Zyl, 50, in connection with the case
The alleged ring leader is Amy-Leigh’s school teacher, Tharina Human, 27, allegedly masterminded the kidnap plot to pay off a drug debt, despite being considered a ‘trusted and loyal friend’ by Amy-Leigh’s mother Human
Human appeared in court in Johannesburg Monday alongside Nel and van Zyl
They were remanded in custody while investigations continue
Distraught mum-of-two Angeline de Jager had just parked her VW Polo at the school gates to walk her daughter Amy-Leigh and her five-year-old son Jayden inside when four violent kidnappers in balaclavas struck.
Police believe Amy-Leigh was deliberately targeted because they threw her brother aside and ignored all the other children and grabbed the screaming girl who had been gathered up in her terrified mothers’ arms.
A short while later her father Wynand, who is a champion F1 powerboat racer on the international circuit, received a mobile call demanding a 2 million rand ransom [$132,943,000] for his daughters safe release.
The pretty brown haired and brown eyed schoolgirl was snatched at 7.40am at the Kollegepark Primary School by four black men laying in wait outside the gates of the school in a Toyota Fortuner 4 x 4.
Amy-Leigh was dragged from her distraught mother’s arms and bundled into the Fortuner which then sped off from the school which is in Vanderbijlpark which is just to the south of the city of Johannesburg.
But police told TimesLIVE that none of the ransom money the kidnappers had been demanding was paid, and that the gang likely panicked after seeing the amount of publicity the case generated.
Amy-Leigh’s auntie Louise Horn posted at 4am today on her Facebook page: ‘Amy-Leigh is safe with her parents. Thank you Lord. Words cannot describe our praise. There is still a long road but thank you Lord.
‘Thank you for a nation that can pray together. We sincerely appreciate every dear message, call and prayer.’
Parents Angeline and Wynand had been through over 19 hours of agony fearing the worst and it is not known what threats the kidnappers had made if the couple who married in 2014 did not pay up.