De Jager has a previous conviction

2014-05-22 13:38
Johannes Christiaan De Jager (File, Sapa)

Johannes Christiaan De Jager (File, Sapa)

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Cape Town - Convicted killer Johannes Christiaan de Jager was previously convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Romay van Rooyen said De Jager, 49, was found guilty of the crime in March 2009.

Sakkie Maartens confirmed his client's previous conviction during the sentencing proceedings. He asked that the State lead its evidence in aggravation of sentence, rather than him beginning with mitigation.

Van Rooyen said she had no objection to the request and would call Brigadier Gerard Labuschagne, the commander of the police's investigative psychology unit.

De Jager was in April convicted of killing 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina Alexander in 2008 and 16-year-old Charmaine Mare in 2013.

At the time, acting Judge Chuma Cossie rejected his version of events as wholly inconceivable and described him as "insensitive" and "unremorseful".

She said the State had proved beyond reasonable doubt that he raped Alexander vaginally and anally before strangling her. His DNA was found on swabs taken from under Alexander's nails.

Concealing evidence

The State also proved beyond reasonable doubt that De Jager killed Mare, dismembered her body, and stole her cellphone.

During his trial, he had stuck to his version that he grabbed Mare in the bathroom last January because she was taking her time to get ready to go out, and she then slipped and fell. He claimed she hit her upper body or head on the rim of the bath and never regained consciousness.

He testified that he dismembered her body and burned the torso because he was shocked and confused.

Cossie said the way De Jager burned the corpse indicated 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 cutting off Mare's arms and legs and a lesser charge of stealing her cellphone.

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