Murder accused blames liquor for dismembering body

2014-03-13 17:53

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Cape Town - Dismembering the body of a young girl "was the same as slaughtering a goat in the veld", Johannes Christiaan de Jager told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

De Jager, 49, has pleaded not guilty to five charges - two of murder, two of rape and one of robbery with aggravating circumstances.

The murder and rape charges relate to the rape and murder of a prostitute, Hiltina Alexander, and Mpumalanga teenager Charmaine Mare.

De Jager, cross-examined on Thursday, told the court he had already finished two bottles of brandy when he started cutting up the teenager's body.

He claimed she had died after falling in the bathroom and striking her head on the bath.

He had hidden her body in a drain, but later tried to remove it when it started smelling.

He said he was unable to retrieve the body from the drain because it had swollen, and the only way that he could remove it was to dismember it.

Prosecutors Romay van Rooyen and Lucinda Mcani allege the teenage girl was raped and murdered while she was on holiday in Cape Town, staying in the same house as De Jager.

At the time of the teenager's death, on a Friday in January last year, De Jager's common law wife, Carol White, was away on a cruise with her daughter and De Jager's son.

The teenager was a friend of White's daughter.

De Jager has pleaded guilty to two further charges, one of dismembering the teenager's corpse and another of setting the dismembered corpse alight.

The prosecutor said De Jager had had ample time to report the girl's death to the police, but had failed to do so.

Asked why, De Jager replied: "I was not thinking, just sitting and drinking. When I started cutting up the body, I had already had two bottles of brandy."

Asked why he blamed the liquor for what he did, De Jager said: "Because I was not sober at the time cutting up the body was the same as slaughtering a goat in the veld."

He said he placed the dismembered parts in a bag, and hid it on the floor of the garage, under a car.

Later, he placed the bag in the boot of the car and drove around in the dark until he came to a dark spot at an open field.

He told the court: "I stopped, off-loaded the body and dragged the bag to a sandy patch in the veld, where I doused it with petrol and set it alight."

The trial continues on Monday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  crime
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