File picture: Facebook

Vanderbijlpark - Laerskool Kollegepark authorities have described the kidnapping of a Grade R pupil and subsequent arrest of an employee in connection with the incident as a shock and something out of a movie.

Amy'Leigh de Jager, 6, was snatched in front of the school on Monday as she, her mother and little brother were getting out of the car. 

Four balaclava-clad men shoved her brother to the side before grabbing the girl and making off with her in an unmarked white Toyota Fortuner. 

She was returned unharmed to her family a day later following intense media coverage and a frantic search for the little girl. 

Police on Thursday confirmed that three people were arrested, including one of the teachers at Kollegepark, over the kidnapping. 

The three, two women and a man, were arrested at their homes in Vanderbijlpark. 

Principal Connie Herbst described the school's shock at learning of the Grade R teacher's link to the kidnapping. 

"The parents and the staff were really in shock when they realised she was implicated," he said at a media briefing. 

He added that they hadn't spoken to the woman, who's currently on suspension pending a disciplinary hearing, after learning this morning of her impending arrest. 

Echoing this was the School Governing Body (SGB) chairperson Andries Pienaar, who described De Jager's kidnapping as a "freak" incident

"It's still a shock to us, it felt like we wake up from the movie. You only see these things on TV and actually it's starting to become a reality in your own community. 

Pienaar thanked the SGB for the way they handled the incident and for maintaining their professionalism throughout. 

Herbst confirmed that the school had met with De Jager's parents, who'd indicated that they would not remove their child from the school. Instead she'd return after a week following a holiday and counselling. 

All three suspects are expected to appear in court soon.

IOL