De Jager found guilty of killing teen and sex worker

2014-04-29 13:29

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Johannes Christiaan de Jager killed Mpumalanga teenager Charmaine Mare while she was living with him in Cape Town, the Western Cape High Court has found.

“The evidence tendered clearly indicates that the deceased could not have died in the manner described by the accused,” Acting Judge Chuma Cossie said in handing down judgment today.

“The court is satisfied that the state succeeded in proving guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, in the case of murder.”

De Jager (49) scowled at the judge’s words and pursed his lips.

Cossie said the way in which De Jager had burned the 16-year-old’s corpse last January indicated there was a deliberate attempt to conceal the evidence.

“The explanation that was given to the court as to why he set the body alight was that he wanted to get rid of the body.

“That is very gruesome to say the least, for a person who had no intention to kill anyone.” Cossie accepted De Jager’s guilty plea with regards to dismembering her arms and legs and a lesser charge of stealing her cellphone.

Sentencing proceedings were provisionally set down for May 5, to determine the availability of defence counsel.

De Jager was earlier in the day also convicted of raping and strangling to death Cape Town prostitute Hiltina Alexander.

De Jager had pleaded not guilty to two charges of raping Alexander, vaginally and anally, and to her murder.

Cossie said that even though the evidence presented by the state was circumstantial in nature, it had remained unchallenged by the accused in many material respects.

She said an expert had concluded that fingernail swabs and nail clippings taken from Alexander contained a mixture of both her own DNA and that of De Jager.

In court was Alexander’s mother Zenobia Solomon, who sobbed.

De Jager’s ex-girlfriend Carol White was also present.

» This article was updated after first published to add further details.

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