A MAN who claims he was tricked into participating in the kidnapping of a schoolboy last month was granted bail of R1 000 in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court.
His co-accused must still show that it is in the interests of justice to release him from custody.
Leon Bekkies, 31, of Bethelsdorp, and Daniel Williams, 31, of Bloemendal, were arrested following the kidnapping of the 10year-old from the Grey Junior School aftercare on February 19.
It is alleged the men took the child to a business in Mount Croix, from which he escaped.
It is believed the plan was for the men to extort R50 000 from the boy’s father, a prominent political personality.
Bekkies claimed he had been tricked into being part of the kidnapping and had tried to get help for the little boy.
Yesterday, the court agreed with lawyer George Malgas’s submissions that Bekkies should be released from custody.
He has no previous convictions or pending cases and has agreed to testify for the state.
Bekkies was granted bail of R1 000 on condition he does not interfere with state witnesses.
Williams, who has a previous conviction for theft and allegedly drove the vehicle used in the alleged kidnapping, remains in custody.