Meghan Cremer murder accused complained of injury before arrest, court hears

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Jeremy Sias.
Jeremy Sias.
Jaco Marais
  • Jeremy Sias had apparently told a traffic warden he was injured before Meghan Cremer had even been reported missing.
  • He now claims that Donne Fernandez’s testimony is not true as he tries to have damning evidence against him thrown out.
  • The accused alleges he was assaulted while in police custody as he challenges the admissibility of incriminating statements he made before leading officers to her body.

Before Jeremy Sias was apprehended in connection with Meghan Cremer’s disappearance, he had already complained of his ribs being injured, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

This comes as the State is attempting to disprove the murder accused’s claim that he was beaten into making incriminating statements admitting to killing the 30-year-old horse rider.

When traffic warden Donne Fernandez pulled Sias over in a roadblock on 3 August 2019, he was driving Cremer’s car which had not yet been reported stolen. When Fernandez walked Sias across Wynberg Main Road to have his alcohol level tested, he escaped her grasp and fled. Police officers gave chase.

READ | Meghan Cremer's face was so badly disfigured that family identified her by jewellery, mom tells court

Fernandez testified that she had lost sight of Sias for about seven or eight minutes. When he was brought back to the roadblock in a police vehicle, he complained to her that his rib area hurt.

“I can’t recall who had brought him back. All I heard was that he had fallen around the corner,” she said.

“He was walking fine. The only complaint was that his side was sore. I still told him, ‘Kyk hoe val jy van weghardloop [Look at how you fell from running away]’.”

meghan cremer
Meghan Cremer.

Fernandez recalled asking Sias why he had made a run for it. She said he responded that he was “bang vir die boere [scared of the police]”.

“I didn’t notice any injuries other than that he was holding his side when he said his side was sore. He had no problem walking.”

A trial-within-a-trial is unfolding regarding the admissibility of statements Sias made prior to him pointing out to police where he had dumped Cremer’s remains.

He had told police he had killed Cremer, a statement he now claims is untrue.

The accused contends he was assaulted, threatened, promised a lesser sentence in a lower court, and not properly informed that he had the right to legal representation.

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Sias, through his advocate Bashier Sibda, on Monday denied he had told Fernandez he had been hurt.

Sibda said his client had been “walking fine without problems because he was uninjured”.

Fernandez maintained that this is what Sias had told her that night.

Meghan Cremer
Meghan Cremer’s mother, Gill, pictured outside court.

Sias’ blood-alcohol level was found to be below the legal limit and, despite him not having a driving licence, he was released.

Cremer is believed to have been murdered in her cottage at Vaderlandsche Rietvlei Farm in Philippi, where Sias was employed as a general worker. She was strangled with a ribbon.

Sias claims to have taken her car for a joyride after finding the Toyota Auris with the key in the ignition. He said he later discovered her body in the boot.

He denies killing her but admitted to disposing of her remains, ostensibly because he believed he would be accused of her murder.

It is believed that Cremer’s body had been in the car when Sias had driven to Wynberg. The accused, together with friends who had been with him, had intended to go to a local pub but had returned to Philippi after the roadblock.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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