News24 Wire
Wire Service
2 minute read
1 Oct 2019
11:47 am

Amy’Leigh kidnapping: Accused teacher says she intends to plead not guilty

News24 Wire

Her two co-accused, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl, have said they will also be pleading not guilty and that they are not flight risks.

Accused no 1, Tharina Human at the Vanderbijl Magistrates Court where the alleged kidnappers of Amy'Leigh were appearing for their bail hearing, 19 September 2019. Picture Neil McCartney

The alleged mastermind behind the kidnapping of six-year-old Amy’Leigh de Jager has said that she intended to plead not guilty to the charges she was facing.

Tharina Human, 27, appeared with her co-accused Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday for their formal bail application.

In an affidavit, read out by her lawyer David Mey, the Laerskool Kollegepark Grade RR teacher submitted that she was not a flight risk and would not interfere with evidence or witnesses. Human said she had no previous convictions and pending cases against her.

“I was arrested in this matter on September 4, 2019, for kidnapping and extortion. I intend to plead not guilty to the charges,” the affidavit read.

Human said she could afford bail amounting to R10,000. She added that she would adhere to bail conditions handed down, should the application be approved.

Laetitia Nel, 40, who is accused two in the matter, also informed the court, through her lawyer Stoffel Venter, that it was in the interests of justice that her bail application be permitted.

Nel submitted that she was a suitable candidate for bail because she had no previous cases against her and had no intention of fleeing, as she was not in possession of a passport.

She added that reports that her bags were packed so she could flee town, when she was arrested, were not true.

“I will stand my trial. There is no possibility that I will even think of not standing my trial. There is no likelihood that I will interfere with further investigations in the matter. I bear no grudges.

“I deny [the] allegations [that bags were packed] as they are devoid of truth,” Nel submitted.

Van Zyl, 50, also submitted that he intended pleading not guilty. He said he didn’t have a passport and was not a flight risk.

He submitted that he could afford bail of R1,000. Van Zyl said the fact that he had sold his property around the same time as his arrest was a coincidence.

The bail application continues.

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