Court hears Mare was not in danger

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Copy of Copy of ca p10 Johannes de Jager don

CAPE ARGUS

Johannes de Jager has been found guilty of murdering Hiltina Alexander and teenager Charmaine Mare. Photo: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - Slain Mpumalanga teenager Charmaine Mare was never in danger while staying in Cape Town, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

“I cannot ever say I was a danger to her. I never once physically molested her or assaulted her,” testified her guardian at the time, Johannes Christiaan de Jager.

De Jager, 49, has denied killing Mare last January while his girlfriend, her daughter and his son were away on a cruise.

He maintains she fell to her death when he grabbed her arm in the bathroom.

Prosecutor Romay van Rooyen pointed to behaviour that seemed to contradict De Jager's view of himself.

She asked why Mare's friend in Mpumalanga tried to phone Kraaifontein police four times to ask them to go to De Jager's home.

“I don't know why,” he replied.

She asked why Mare would send cellphone voice recordings of him making advances towards her, to her friends.

He said he could not answer for her.

“Do you not think maybe it was a cry for help to people she knew to help her get away?” Van Rooyen asked.

De Jager said if the teenager had been in trouble, she would have said something to the teenage girls across the road.

He said he organised a braai a week before her death in which she was introduced to everyone in the neighbourhood.

Van Rooyen asked why Mare had asked a local estate agent for money.

“He only told me that she wanted money and wanted to go back to the Transvaal and that he gave her his telephone number, probably for her to call or when there's trouble,” he said.

The prosecutor asked why Mare was so desperate to get away that she would borrow money from a stranger.

“In discussions with her, she said she missed her parents so I assume she wanted to go back [to Mpumalanga].”

The trial continues.

Sapa


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