The Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court was full to the brim of spectators and media from around the country as they gathered for the first court appearance of the three suspects accused of being involved in the kidnapping of six-year-old Amy’Leigh de Jager.
The suspects, who are from the southern Gauteng town, were expected to appear at 11am. After their appearance, their identities will be made known to the media.
Vaal Weekblad’s crime reporter Jannie du Plessis reported from the courtroom that the judge handling the case appealed to the media to leave the courtroom, in order for other cases and postponements to be dealt with first.
After this, he will reportedly decide if the media has permission to take photos in the courtroom, before the official trial of the three accused begins.
TimesLive have reported that Amy’Leigh’s parents, Wynand and Angeline de Jager, arrived at the courtroom before being escorted to an office for privacy.
It is also reported that Amy’Leigh’s grandfather is present in the dock and that a steady crowd was growing outside the court.
One of the accused was a teacher at Laerskool Kollegepark, the school Amy’Leigh attended.
The 27-year-old teacher, whose name is known to News24, was arrested with a 40-year-old woman and 50-year-old man by members from the Family Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit on Wednesday night.
On Monday, four men snatched Amy’Leigh from her mother’s car at the school in Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng and drove off in a white Toyota Fortuner, News24 previously reported. They demanded a ransom of R2 million from Amy’Leigh’s father.
However, no money was paid and the six-year-old’s kidnappers dropped her off between 2am and 2.30am on Tuesday in a street close to The Shakespeare Inn hotel in Vanderbijlpark.
A man and a woman took her to the Vanderbijlpark police station where she was reunited with her parents.
This article was translated from Afrikaans by Nica Schreuder.
Background reporting by News24 Wire.