De Jager smirks as he's sentenced to life

2014-05-27 12:42
Charmaine Mare. (Supplied)

Charmaine Mare. (Supplied)

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Cape Town - Former motor mechanic Johannes Christiaan de Jager smirked in the dock on Tuesday as he was sentenced to life in jail for the "brutal and savage" murder of two teenagers.

De Jager, dressed in jeans, a checked shirt, and blue jersey, leaned against the dock in a relaxed manner and looked around at the people in court.

Western Cape High Court acting Judge Chuma Cossie handed down three life sentences to run concurrently, finding there were no substantial and compelling circumstances allowing her to deviate from prescribed minimum sentences.

De Jager, 49, was last month convicted of killing and raping 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina Alexander in 2008 and killing 16-year-old Charmaine Mare last year. Both crimes were committed in Cape Town.

Cossie handed down a life sentence each for the rape and murder of Alexander.

He also received a life sentence for Mare's murder.

Six years in jail were handed down for dismembering Mare's corpse and three months for stealing her cellphone.

De Jager, dressed in jeans, a checked shirt, and blue jersey, smirked as the sentence was handed down.

He leaned against the dock in a relaxed manner and looked around at the people in court.

Not a serial killer

Cossie said she agreed with Sakkie Maartens that his client was not a serial killer, as suggested by State witness Brigadier Gerard Labuschagne during sentencing arguments.

However, rape and murder were very serious offences and needed to be punished in a way that would satisfy the interests of society.

"This kind of brutality is regrettably too a part of life in South Africa. Courts are expected to send out a clear message that such behaviour will be met with the full force and effect of the law," she said in handing down the sentence.

"The legislature is concerned about this and so too should we be".

Cossie said the sentences were fair to the State and the accused, and blended with a measure of mercy.

Alcohol consumption

Cossie said she had kept in mind that alcohol consumption had played a role in Alexander's murder, as suggested by the defence.

However, this was one of many factors to consider.

"Society expects that offenders such as this one before court today should be punished for such offences and, if possible, be totally removed from the community at large," she said.

With regards to Mare's murder, it was clear he had abused the trust that the Mpumalanga resident had in him.

"Instead of helping the deceased look for work as promised and take care of her while her friend and mother were away, he used the opportunity to violate her and showed no remorse by denying that he killed her, only admitting that he violated the corpse and nothing further."


- SAPA

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime
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