Slain prostitute's friend recalled

2013-11-20 21:57

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Cape Town - A friend of a slain prostitute stuck by his testimony of when he last saw her, when questioned in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

McNiel Jacobs said he and his brother Colin last saw Hiltina Alexander in Parow, Cape Town, in the early hours of a Sunday morning 18 May  2008.

"The reason why it happened on Sunday morning, why I can remember well [is that] I was on my way to my mother's house. When I arrived at the house... my mother was already preparing her church clothing."

He was testifying in the trial of 48-year-old Johannes Christiaan de Jager, who has pleaded not guilty to the rape and murder of prostitute Alexander in May 2008, and the murder of 18-year-old Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare in January this year.

Jacobs concluded his testimony last week, but was recalled by the defence on Wednesday.

Sakkie Maartens, for De Jager, was granted the recall to ask the witness about the contradiction in dates between his testimony and two statements he made to police.

In his evidence-in-chief last week, Jacobs said he saw Alexander get into a white bakkie with a "tall white man" on 18 May.

He said he and his brother Colin waited for her to return, but they eventually walked home because she never returned.

Colin conceded during cross-examination last week that he was not sure whether he last saw her in the early hours of that Sunday or Monday.

On Wednesday, Maartens asked McNiel why he was confident enough to testify that it happened on a Sunday morning.

"I know for a fact the date was on a Sunday and I saw that on my mother's calendar. She has that calendar each and every year," he replied.

Second statement question

Jacobs made a statement on 18 June 2008 that it happened on a Sunday morning.

Maartens asked why he made another statement on 25 February 2009, saying that he had got the dates wrong and that he actually saw Alexander get into the bakkie early on Monday morning.

Jacobs replied that the police officer who took the statement must have made a mistake.

Maartens asked if he read the statement and was able to read, to which Jacobs replied that his reading skills were poor.

"So the policeman wrote it wrongly? [sic]" the lawyer asked.

Jacobs replied: "It must have been so."

At one stage, Jacobs revealed he was a tik (methamphetamine) addict at the time Alexander disappeared but was now clean, and a practising Rastafarian.

Maartens attempted to continue that line of questioning, but was shut down by Acting Judge Chuma Cossie, who reminded him that the recall was on a very limited basis.

Jacobs was excused from the stand.

A pathologist who performed Alexander's post mortem was expected to testify on Thursday.


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