No direct evidence in Cape murder case - lawyer

2014-03-27 14:14


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

Cape Town - There is no direct evidence linking Johannes Christiaan de Jager to the rape and murder of a prostitute, his lawyer told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

"It rests 100% on circumstantial evidence," Sakkie Maartens said in closing argument.

"It is my submission that in Hiltina's case, there is a total absence of direct eyewitness testimony of the rape and the killing."

De Jager, 49, has pleaded not guilty to killing Cape Town prostitute Hiltina Alexander, 18, in May 2008.

Maartens said circumstances and exhibits had to build a chain of evidence strong enough to prove something beyond reasonable doubt.

Three incriminating circumstances and exhibits in the State's case were examined, namely an earring that was found in De Jager's bakkie, his pointing out of a flat, and a DNA swab result.

Maartens said only one witness had identified the earring as belonging to Alexander and the court should, therefore, be cautious.

The "proverbial cherry on top" was that the State had inadvertently destroyed the earring and the court and witness had to rely on a somewhat hazy photo, he said.

"DNA testing of the pierce-type earring had the potential of sealing the accused's fate or confirming the possible veracity of his explanation."


Maartens took issue with De Jager having to point out a flat of a possible alibi three years after the crime.

He said the investigating officer at the time should have taken charge while memories were still fresh.

"Why did he not strike the iron while it was hot?"

The pointing out should have been videotaped to avoid arguments about conflicting recollections.

Lastly, Maartens raised suspicion around De Jager's DNA being found on swabs taken from under Alexander's fingernails.

He said the safekeeping and processing of the DNA samples was so "sub-standard and atrocious", that no value could be attached to any scientific or forensic analysis.

Alternatively, the State was fully alive to the fact that De Jager admitted to being in the prostitute's company and that there was some sort of close contact between them.

"It is conceded that suspicions have been raised in the evidence that the accused was possibly responsible for Hiltina meeting her fate," Maartens said.

"It is, however, submitted that a healthy measure of doubt exists and that Mr De Jager must receive the benefit of this doubt."

The trial continues.

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.
Read more on:    cape town  |  crime 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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

De Allende's star burns bright
Boks were 'in a dark space'
Pacific island teams singled out for rough tactics?
Ireland favourites but France bullish
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

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.