School teacher and ‘family friend’ arrested for Amy-Leigh’s kidnapping
One of the three people arrested for the abduction of Vanderbijlpark schoolgirl Amy-Leigh de Jager is a teacher at Laerskool Kollegepark.
Two sources with intimate knowledge of the police investigation, who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition of anonymity, said that one of the suspects collared in a police swoop on Wednesday night was an employee of the school.
Four men grabbed the grade R pupil from her mother, Angeline, outside the school shortly before 8am on Monday. They bundled her into a white Toyota Fortuner before speeding off.
The six-year-old Amy-Leigh was found on Tuesday morning at around 2am. She was dropped off by two people on a street close to the Shakespeare Inn in Vanderbijlpark, and told that her mother was waiting for her at the shop across the road. The child screamed when she did not see her mother. Two people on their way home from a pub stopped to ease her distress, and they walked her to a police station.
Two women, aged 27 and 40, and a 50-year-old man were apprehended at their homes in Vanderbijlpark on Wednesday night, confirmed police Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo. One of the female suspects, he disclosed, “is known to the parents of Amy-Leigh”.
The arrests followed an intelligence-driven operation, involving members from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit in Vanderbijlpark and Vereeniging as well as Crime Intelligence members, said Naidoo.
A separate source, a family member, confirmed to TimesLIVE that one of the people who had been arrested is “a very close family friend”, while, the source added, “The other one [suspect] is also connected to the family.”
According to the source, “Amy-Leigh is still very traumatised, so she hasn’t gone back to school yet.”
Laerskool Kollegepark deputy principal Juanita Louw could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing. A spokesperson for the School Governing Body (SGB) said he could not comment, adding that the Gauteng Education Department would issue a statement during the course of the day.