Cop errors raised in Cape murder trial

2013-11-19 19:36
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Police made several possible errors during the investigation of murder accused Johannes Christian de Jager, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

De Jager's lawyer Sakkie Maartens was cross-examining Captain Michael Volkwyn, one of four officers who investigated the murder of 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina Alexander.

De Jager has pleaded not guilty to her rape and murder in May 2008, and the murder of 18-year-old Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare in January this year.

Volkwyn arrested him on 3 June 2008 and took him to a doctor the next day to obtain hair and blood samples.

Maartens wanted to know if the policeman made a statement confirming the visit to the doctor. Volkwyn replied: "No".

He was asked whether he ever made arrangements with the doctor to take a statement from him. Volkwyn said the doctor completed a pro-forma form.

"The State must have forgotten to give me that," Maartens replied.

All the lawyer had was a statement taken from the doctor this month.

"Why is there no statement taken from there [2008] up until 7 November 2013?" the lawyer asked him.

"Is it not important for the doctor to complete a form when taking hair and blood samples?... To confirm that these were taken in the correct manner and the correct serial numbers were identified?"

Volkwyn replied that it was correct to do so.

Maartens pointed out a discrepancy regarding the date Volkwyn picked up three evidence bags that needed to be taken to a forensic laboratory. According to a police register Volkwyn took the bags on 5 June 2008 but in his statement, he said he collected them on 13 June that year.

Maartens asked him why he mentioned the second date.

"It could just have been a human error," Volkwyn replied.

The lawyer also raised questions about Volkwyn's discovery of an earring in De Jager's bakkie the day of the arrest. He said Alexander's friend, Colin Jacobs, made no mention of the earring in either of his statements in 2008.

"There you had someone who was last seen with the deceased and in his [De Jager's] bakkie and you had an earring which was said to belong to the deceased. Don't you think it's important?" Maartens asked.

Volkwyn said it was important and he had mentioned it in an investigating officer statement. After questioning, it was revealed that no mention of it was made in two of his statements in June 2008.

It was only in a statement in November 2008 that he mentioned he found the earring in the bakkie and confiscated it.

This contradicted his testimony earlier on Tuesday, in which he said that neither he nor De Jager touched the earring and it was the forensic team who confiscated the earring.

Read more on:    cape town

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.