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Private investigator describes Amy-Lee’s abduction as ‘beyond strange’

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Amy-Lee's abduction

A private investigator who specialises in tracing missing children, Wendy Pascoe, described the abduction of Amy-Lee de Jager as “beyond strange”.

Four men kidnapped the girl, aged six, shortly before 8am on Monday morning near Kollegepark Laerskool in Vanderbijlpark, bundling her into a white Toyota Fortuner before speeding off.

The men allegedly pushed her five-year-old brother, Jayden, aside to get to the girl. Later they contacted Amy-Lee’s father, Wynand de Jager, telephonically with a ransom demand of R2m.

The abduction spurred police to launch a province-wide manhunt, calling in hostage negotiators and tracing teams, augmented by the crime intelligence unit.

“At this stage the police have hostage negotiators and crime intelligence working on the matter, and I have handed over to them. When the call came through, we began assisting the police station, as we do with other cases of missing children,” Pascoe told TimesLIVE.

“This is not something we usually see with kidnappings. This is not an everyday occurrence and I don’t want to say too much. What is odd is that the vehicle wasn’t taken but the child was. Usually, when children go missing in circumstances like this, it is because they are caught up in an effort to steal a car,” she said.

Another curious aspect of the case, Pascoe said, was that the abductors seemed to have targeted Amy-Lee specifically.

“The men paid no attention to the other children at the school, and that should tell us they were waiting for Amy-Lee,” she said.

Meanwhile, ER24 paramedics were summoned to the Vanderbijlpark police station on Monday afternoon, where parents and hostage negotiators had been meeting since the morning.

ER24 spokesman Russel Meiring said that paramedics were called out to assess Amy-Lee’s parents, with her mom complaining of shoulder pain after her child was wrenched from her arms. Both parents’ vital signs were checked and were stable, and neither required further treatment.

A family friend who was at the police station to support the family, Shaun Douglas, described Amy-Lee as a lovable child.

“She loves giving hugs and drawing pictures,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng education department has expressed “shock” at what happened to Amy-Lee. It said it was supporting pupils and parents.

“We have sent our psychosocial unit to the school to offer the necessary support and counselling to all affected by this unfortunate incident. Some parents took their children home. A parents’ meeting is scheduled for later this afternoon to help allay fears,” the department’s spokesman Steve Mabona said.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “We call upon members of the public to not disrupt our schools and instil fear in children. Learners must feel safe in the school environment, which is conducive for effective learning and teaching.

“The safety of learners and teachers is our priority. Under the circumstances, the situation is calm. However, we will continue to monitor the situation.”

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Look: 4 critically injured in tanker and bus crash on N3

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Tanker and bus on fire mooi river

Four people have been injured and multiple others injured when a tanker truck, a bus and other vehicles were involved in a serious crash on N3 north just before the Hidcote off ramp in Mooi River.

Netcare 911’s Shawn Herbst said that paramedics responded to the accident scene at 15H42 on Monday afternoon.

“Netcare 911 with Nsele Ambulance Services Responded to a collision on the N3 Johannesburg bound in Hidcote KZN Midlands region.

Reports indicate that a bus, tanker and multiple cars were involved in a collision leaving four people critical and approximately fourty-four other patients with minor to serious injuries,” said Hersbt.

The fire and rescue services are currently on scene trying to extinguish the fire to determine if any deaths have occurred.

This is a developing story.

Tanker and bus on fire mooi river

Tanker bus accident hidcote

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Attorney Theasen Pillay found deceased in his Umhlanga Ridge apartment

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Attorney Theasan Pillay death

Durban – Lawyer Theasan Pillay, 47, from attorneys Theasan Pillay and Associates has been found dead in his apartment on Solstice road in Umhlanga Ridge on Friday morning.

Private security company, Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) reported that they received a call at 11h34 on Friday from a relative requesting assistance after he made the gruesome discovery.

Rusa officers and paramedics on arrival found Pillay in his bedroom.

He had suffered stab wounds to his arm and chest.

“It was established that Pillay left a suicide note at his offices in Umhlanga prior to leaving the premises this morning. His employees discovered the note and called him. During a telephonic conversation he assured them that he was fine and needed some time alone. They then informed his family and requested that they check on his well-being.

His brother proceeded to his apartment and gained access with a set of spare keys when he made the discovery,” said Rusa.

Pillay’s death is being investigated by the police and updates will be shared as soon as they become available.

This is a developing story.

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Leo Prinsloo guarded Kim Kardashian amongst other high profile people

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Leo Prinsloo kim Kardashian

Pretoria – The hero guard, Leo Prinsloo, once served as a guard for former President Nelson Mandela, Prince Charles and even Kim Kardashian amongst high profile people, IOL has reported.

Deon Coetzee, MD of the Fortis Group said that Prinsloo has been in various security roles for more than 30 years now, with a 12 year career in the South African Police Special Task Force.

He had extensive training, including training with Abu Dhabi’s Anti-Terrorism unit.

In the SAPS Task Force, he was a head instructor of their lone operator training.

Prinsloo and Lloyd Mthombeni became a world topic when a video was shared on social media of them being shot at by robbers.

Coetzee said the two had been escorting a van that was transporting cellphones when they came under attack on the N4 freeway in Pretoria.

He said the modus operandi of criminals is to take out both the escort vehicle and the courier vehicle.

“In the video you see what was happening to the escort vehicle. Two vehicles with three criminals in each tried to take them and Leo took evasive action,” Coetzee said.

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“The guard in the passenger seat, Lloyd Mthombeni, was just four days on the job when the incident happened,” he said.

Dash cam footage of the incident was shared thousands of times and quickly went viral on social media. The public has hugely been amazed by the bravery exhibited by Prinsloo who managed to keep his cool as bullets rained on his van.

News agencies across the globe covered the incident showing Prinsloo’s daring escape from the robbers.

Death threats

Meanwhile, Prinsloo has been placed under police guard following death threats.

Coetzee said they have had to step up security around him following the threats.

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