Cape murder accused maintains innocence

2014-02-27 18:29

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Cape Town - Murder accused Johannes Christiaan de Jager was drunk when he picked up prostitute Hiltina Alexander in 2008, he told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

"How did you feel when you picked her up?" his lawyer Sakkie Maartens asked in reference to Sunday, 18 May 2008.

De Jager replied in Afrikaans that he felt like a "four out of six". Maartens asked what that meant.

"I would say I was 80% under the influence. I would say I was reasonably strongly under the influence."

De Jager, 49, wearing a chequered shirt and jeans, was testifying in his own defence.

He has pleaded not guilty to raping and killing Alexander and to killing 16-year-old Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare in January 2013.

He told the court he had been in a pub in Parow earlier that Sunday night, where he met a bus driver from Namibia called Johan.

They played pool the whole evening and took advantage of the double brandy and coke special, he said.

Maartens asked how many drinks he had had between 20:00 and midnight.

"If I had to guess, between six and seven double brandies and coke and also Stroh rums and shooters," De Jager said.

Looking for an escort

When the pub closed at midnight, they drove in separate cars back to Johan's sister's flat, about 2km away.

They decided to visit another pub 500m from the flat.

De Jager said he had two or three brandies there and left an hour later to drink some more at the flat.

"After a few drinks, he [Johan] told me he is looking for an escort for the evening. I told him I knew of a possible one who is walking on the street."

While Johan went to buy dagga, he drove to Voortrekker Road to pick up the woman he had previously given a lift to once before.

De Jager said she had told him on the earlier occasion she worked as a prostitute on that corner.

He saw her with two men at a nearby fish shop, stopped his bakkie and went to her.

"I just told her or asked her that there was a gentleman who is interested in sleeping with her," De Jager said.

His lawyer asked if she knew where he planned to take her and he replied that she did not.

When they were in the car, De Jager said she pulled down his zip and started playing with his genitals without him requesting it.

"I was surprised," he said.

At the flat

They arrived at the flat and walked up the stairs.

He drank with Johan and remembered that Alexander had one drink.

"She wanted to have sex with me and I pushed her away [on the side of her body]... she spoke to Johan and they both got into bed. I carried on drinking."

He could not recall money being exchanged at any stage.

At some point, he passed out. He said he woke up at 03:00 that Monday and saw the pair sleeping in the bed.

He exited the flat without saying goodbye and drove back to his parent's house in Ruyterwacht, where he was staying at the time.

He chatted with his girlfriend on a cellphone application until 07:00 and then went to his workshop in Elsies River.

He did not have any further contact with Johan.

The same day, Alexander's body was found in bushes next to a footpath leading to an informal settlement, between Van Schoorsdrift Road and Frankdale, off the N7.

Maartens asked if De Jager had been in the vicinity that Sunday and Monday.

"No, not at all," he replied.

The trial continues.

- SAPA

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