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Request by 2 of De Jager’s accused kidnappers to switch prisons denied

Friday was the second day of the formal bail application of Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl.

Tharina Human, one of the three people accused of kidnapping Amy'Leigh De Jager outside her school in Vanderbijlpark, and her lawyer in court. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN.

VANDERBIJLPARK - The Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Court denied a request by two of Amy’Leigh De Jager's accused kidnappers to be moved from the Johannesburg prison.

Friday was the second day of the formal bail application of Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl.

They were arrested earlier this month, just days after the child was snatched while she was being dropped off by her mother at school.

They've been charged with kidnapping and extortion for trying to get a R2 million ransom from De Jager's family.

Lawyers for Human and Nel approached the court with a request from their clients to be moved from the Johannesburg Prison to the Vanderbijlpark police station holding cells.

They cited unsafe conditions, saying they are in a cell with 70 other people and were threatened overnight.

The State argued that the police station was not active.

Magistrate Hussein Khota denied the application, saying the sizes of the cells at a police station were likely to be smaller with less security.

The matter has been postponed to 1 October.

ANOTHER SUSPECT STILL AT LARGE

The court heard how a final suspect, who is still at large in the De Jager case, was introduced to the kidnapping plan just hours before.

The investigating officer Clayton Motloung has told the court that the fourth suspect was living at Van Zyl’s house but wasn’t involved in the plan until hours before.

He said he was then briefed that his task was to grab De Jager and put her into the car during the kidnapping

Motloung said when he went to Van Zyl’s home earlier this month to issue an arrest, the fourth suspect fled and has been on the run since.

Motloung has also told the court that Van Zyl’s wife and neighbour, who saw De Jager in the yard while she was being held, were both key State witnesses.

He said it was for that reason that he should not be granted bail.

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