Cape prostitute's injuries detailed

2013-11-14 22:13
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Cape Town - The body of prostitute Hiltina Alexander was covered with leaves and marks, a detective told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Constable Angus James was called as a detective to the scene, next to the N7 highway in Philadelphia, near Atlantis, on 19 May 2008.

He was testifying in the trial of Johannes Christiaan de Jager, 48, who has pleaded not guilty to raping and killing the 18-year-old.

James said the body was unidentified until the fingerprints were scanned, which led the police to Alexander's family.

At the scene, he pointed out key points to the photographer, who then removed the leaves covering her body to take a proper picture.

James attended the post mortem a day later.

"She [the pathologist] started the post mortem, showing me the marks on the body, cutting open the body, showing me the injuries the deceased sustained," he told the court.

He said the pathologist took a photo of Alexander's pants next to a forensic bag and sealed them up.

"She handed it to me in case there is maybe semen in the bag, because it seemed the lady was raped, according to her explanation."

He said the pathologist completed a sexual assault evidence collection kit, which commonly includes pubic hair and nail clippings for the purposes of DNA collection.

"She cut the body, collected fluids and put it in the sex kit," James said.

From there, he took the bag with the pants in it and the sexual assault kit to the charge office in Philadelphia.

He then went on leave and handed over the case to another police officer for investigation.

Sakkie Maartens, for De Jager, told the police officer he had consulted farmers in the area and had found that the Van Schoorsdrift road was well-known for its prostitutes.

He asked whether James was aware of this.

"Yes, we have a problem with prostitutes," James replied.

He was excused from the stand.

Second murder

De Jager has also been charged with killing Charmaine Mare, 18, who spent her holiday with him and his girlfriend in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, in January this year.

In a plea explanation on Wednesday, he said he grabbed Mare's arm because they were late and she slipped on a bath mat and fell. She did not regain consciousness.

He said he panicked and decided to hide her body in a drain outside the house.

He pleaded guilty to cutting off her lower legs and forearms to allow the body to fit into the drain, and also to taking her corpse to a field in Kraaifontein that Sunday, where he set it alight. Passers-by found her torso on 14 January.

He admitted there was no legal excuse for dismembering the body and that he knew at all times it was unlawful and punishable.

He also pleaded guilty to stealing her cellphone rather than assaulting and robbing her of it, as stated in the charge sheet.

The trial resumes on Monday.

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