Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl – Amy Leigh


Maak dit lewenslank vir albei van hulle wat ‘n onskuldige kind ontvoer, vir ‘n paar sente en veral dwelms.   Hierdie tipe misdadigers is dieselfde as moordenaars en verkragters, hulle moet swaarder gestraf word en alle regte in tronke moet van hul verwyder word.  Hulle moet geen regte hê nie.      Watter reg het hulle gehad om families so af te pers en daardie kind te gryp en in eensaamheid aan te hou.    Waar is die swart meneer (of was daar meer as een) wat die kind gegryp het, sy aandeel is net mooi nêrens te lees of te sien in die hofsaak of aanhouding nie.   Hy moet ook lewenslank gevonnis word.  Misdadigers soos hierdie, wat die vrye toegang tot dwelms aanmoedig en dan word jong kinders aangehou daarvoor.
Photo – Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl appear in court on September 19. The trio is accused of kidnapping six-year-old Amy’Leigh de Jager.


This was the testimony of Constable Clayton Motloung who took the stand in the kidnapping case of 6-year-old Amy’Leigh de Jager in the Vanderbijlpark magistrate’s court on Thursday afternoon.   Without going into details, he said that Amy’Leigh “was not well looked after”.


19 September

The Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Court heard how the three people arrested for the kidnapping of Amy’Leigh De Jager confessed to the crime. The trio appeared in court on 19 September 2019 for a bail application.

9 September

The three people suspected of kidnapping Amy’Leigh de Jager are set to appear in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Court this morning

5 September
6-year-old Amy’Leigh de Jager was kidnapped in front of her school gate on September 2 2019 by four men and loaded into a white Toyota Fortuner. Her grandfather, Martin Brouwer, spoke out about how the ordeal impacted their lives and describes the relief the family felt when they saw Amy’Leigh for the first time after the incident.


Earlier, Motloung told the court that the three accused, Tharina Human, 27, Laetitia Nel, 40, and Pieter van Zyl, 50, faced “very serious charges”.   He said that at the time of the kidnapping on September 2, an unknown man approached from behind and grabbed Amy’Leigh’s five-year-old brother, but later let him go. He then grabbed Amy’Leigh and got into a white Toyota Fortuner which then sped off.

Police were called to the scene and a case of kidnapping was reported.   When he said this, Human started to cry. All three accused sat in the dock with their heads hung low.   Motloung said the state would oppose bail. He also told the court earlier that Human and Nel had no previous convictions, but that Van Zyl had a previous theft conviction.   During cross-examination by lawyer David May, acting for Human, Motloung said that should Human be released on bail, she would evade trial and influence witnesses. 

Motloung said her child would not deter her from fleeing.    “There is nothing stopping Accused 1 [Human]. She doesn’t have property and her child is well taken care of. They are facing very serious charges. In some cases we have struggled to re-arrest people who have faced similar charges and fled.”

May argued that Motloung failed to check whether Human had a passport, saying that it was much more difficult to flee the country without a passport.   May further argued that he failed to ascertain the value of assets that she owned. The officer agreed. Human informed Motloung that she was renting the property she lived at.    He said the state witness in the case was a close family member of Human’s who lived about 1km or 2km from Human’s mother’s house.    He said the state has a strong case and would request a sentence of 15 years to life.    May argued that not many kidnapping cases were reported in the jurisdiction of Vanderbijlpark.

He further testified that despite Amy’Leigh not being harmed during her kidnapping, she was dropped off in a “very dangerous” place. On top of this, he said Amy’Leigh was not well looked after.     “It is a place where a human being or animal would not survive in that small place. She was not well looked after at all.”    He did not go into further detail about where she was kept, saying this would be revealed during trial.   After Human’s arrest, her disappointed mother told the police that she suspected her daughter was using drugs, Motloung said.   “She was even crying. It was not tears of joy, it was tears of disappointment.” 

May told Motloung that Human’s brother supported her fully and asked him how he came to the conclusion that her brother was angry when she was arrested.   “I want to put it to you that Accused 1 [Human’s] brother instructed me to represent Accused 1,” said May.   Motloung maintained that Human’s brother was extremely angry after her arrest.

He said the state expected to call two to three witnesses to testify, but May argued that he was not sure how many witnesses would be called.   “You can’t have two to three witnesses. Is it two witnesses or three witnesses?” May asked.    Motloung later said it was just two witnesses.

May had also argued that only Human’s immediate family members lived in Vanderbijlpark and wanted to know from Motloung who the state witness was who had close family ties to Human.   Motloung said the female state witness was linked to Human’s brother.


The three defendants in the Amy’Leigh de Jager case returned to court on Friday morning, in a bid to secure bail and temporary freedom. However, they didn’t enjoy much luck. The hearing was postponed until 1 October, as the defence team scramble to gather witnesses and build a case.

Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl are the accused. They returned to the stand after a dramatic day of proceedings on Thursday. The investigating officer has demanded that the trio should be kept behind bars, and revealed links to a “Nigerian” underworld figure. However, we’ve gone from revelations to incarcerations…

The suspects have been left furious with the conditions of their stay behind bars. They remain in the slammer, pending the result of their bail application. But as the 27-year-old Human revealed, the group had a pretty rough night on Thursday – and they showed up with an application to be transfered.

Both women – Human and Nel – are being kept in Sun City prison in Johannesburg. But the pair have lashed out at the conditions they are faced with. According to the defendants, they are sharing a facility with 70 other inmates. It’s also claimed the jailbirds have access to TV, and have been watching the Amy’Leigh de Jager case unfold.


Tharina Human, who has been called the “mastermind” of the group by several law enforcement officials, was particularly upset by her new digs. She complained of being “kept up all night” by her fellow prisoners. We’re not sure how well that’ll go down if they all caught a glimpse of the televised trial today.

The application was shot down. A state official says that none of the suspects can return to Vanderbijlpark Police Station, and that Human and her co-accused won’t find a “special place” that treats them any better.

Motloung showed no mercy in his take-down of the kidnappers. When discussing what punitive action the perpetrators could face, the officer stated that a 15-year jail term would be on the cards for all three of them. He labelled the charges “incredibly serious”, and believes that the final judgement should reflect that.

WHEN you took the little girl, it was a death threat for her as well her parents!!   What happened when the little girl cried all on her own?

Both of the female defendants have also expressed fear for their own lives, suggesting that they have received death threats while behind bars.

There is a dark irony to their complaints, however. During Amy’Leigh de Jager’s 19-hour kidnap ordeal, the six-year-old was kept in cramped, squalid conditions herself. Sympathy has been in short supply for these three all week, and their sob-story isn’t budging many South Africans at all.

Human, Nel and Van Zyl will now remain in Sun City.


Their unseen brinkmanship played out in a nondescript office at the Vanderbijlpark police station in the hours after her abduction on Monday, and played a critical role in the police response to the chilling crime…

Veteran police negotiator Colonel Ernst Strydom said the negotiation around Amy’Leigh, which spanned the 19 hours she was missing, would have been an “emotional storm”.

“It is an extremely difficult position to be placed in, but this is why we train. We, as negotiators, must steel ourselves against getting caught up in the emotion of the situation,” he told Times Select.

“You always feel responsible for what is happening, and it is so difficult to separate yourself from that. While objectively we know that the perpetrator of the crime is behind the action that got us there, you critically examine your own actions, wondering if you made the right decisions at the right time,” he said…

The emotional toll had weighed heavily on one police negotiator, who was seen leaving the police station in tears.

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