DNA found on slain prostitute's body

2014-02-24 17:38
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Cape Town - Murder accused Johannes Christiaan de Jager's DNA was found under the fingernails of slain prostitute Hiltina Alexander, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

This was the testimony of Major Ulrich Koenze, a reporting officer in the provincial forensic sciences laboratory at the time of Alexander's murder in May 2008.

De Jager has pleaded not guilty to the rape and murder of Alexander, 18, and the murder of 16-year-old Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare last January.

Koenze told the court he was assigned to analyse Alexander's nail clippings, the swab taken from the fingernails and a control blood sample taken from 48-year-old De Jager and Alexander.

These blood samples were to establish DNA profiles which could be compared with other forensic evidence.

"There was more than one depositor of DNA material in that specific example [of the swab]," he told the court.

He said the swab contained not only Alexander's DNA, but De Jager's as well. The prosecutor asked what the chances were of someone else having the same DNA profile as De Jager.

"Basically the chances of another person having his DNA profile in the white population is one in 14 700 people," he said.

DNA findings questioned

Sakkie Maartens, for De Jager, spent some time questioning Koenze on the validity of this finding and asked whether the DNA was extracted from the swab or directly from the nail clippings.

"It was the swab from the pathologist. As long as the chain [of evidence] is intact, that is what is important here," Koenze replied.

Maartens disagreed and said it made a difference.

He asked the officer whether DNA could have been transferred to Alexander's nails if she had stimulated De Jager's penis.

"If the swabbing was done in a short time, the possibility is there," Koenze said.

However, he said using so-called touch DNA analysis did not normally give good results.

The strength of the DNA results also suggested there had been more than brief contact between two different sources.

The trial was postponed until Tuesday, when a list of admissions was expected to be handed up.

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