All four kidnappers pleaded guilty in the Palm Ridge High Court on Thursday with the mastermind Tharina Human slapped with a 10-year prison term.
FILE: (From left to right) Tharina Human, Laetitia Nel and Pieter van Zyl appear in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrates Court on 19 September 2019 for the kidnapping of of a six-year-old girl outside of her school. Picture: Kgomotso Modise/EWN
JOHANNESBURG – There is mixed reaction to the jail sentences handed to the kidnappers of a six-year-old Vanderbijlpark girl, with some saying the sanctions were too lenient.
All four kidnappers pleaded guilty in the Palm Ridge High Court on Thursday, with the mastermind Tharina Human slapped with a 10-year prison term.
Her co-accused received sentences of between five and eight years each.
The young girl was snatched from her mother’s car in front of her school in 2019 and was held hostage for several hours before she was dropped off along a road.
The director at the Teddy Bear Clinic, Shaheda Omar, was not happy with these sentences. She said that she wanted them all to stay behind bars for longer.
“They got off lightly. Why should their sentences be reduced? There was collusion and the motives were all the same. The fact that Tharina got a 10-year sentence is still not sufficient,” Omar said.
Meanwhile, Save The Children South Africa welcomed the outcome.
CEO Steve Miller said that he hoped the little girl could heal from the traumatic ordeal.
“Trauma impacts children differently from adults. It really overwhelms the child [and] can seriously impact their trajectory and growth in life,” Miller said.
Human was a teacher at the child’s school and was friends with her mother.