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Earring features in Cape murder trial

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Copy of ct de jager done _1737

Independent Newspapers

Johannes de Jager was convicted of killing 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina Alexander in 2008 and 16-year-old Charmaine Mare last year. File picture: Bheki Radebe

Cape Town -

An earring mysteriously lodged itself under a rubber mat in a bakkie belonging to murder accused Johannes Christiaan de Jager, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Romay van Rooyen was cross-examining De Jager on the earring a policeman found in the back of his bakkie the day of his arrest in 2008.

“How did it get there under the mat, because you put it on the edge of the bakkie?” she asked.

He replied in Afrikaans that he did not remove it or put it there, and therefore could not tell her.

“So it mysteriously got under the mat?” she asked.

“It must be so,” he replied.

Van Rooyen said this did not make sense.

She put it to De Jager that the earring belonged to his alleged victim, 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina Alexander, whose body was found next to the N7 highway in Cape Town on May 19, 2008.

Alexander's friend was present the day the earring was discovered and apparently recognised it.

De Jager has pleaded not guilty to raping and killing Alexander, and to killing Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare in January last year.

He said the earring must have fallen out of one of the bags he put on the back of the bakkie for a Voortrekker Commando camp he attended the weekend of the murder.

He said the bags belonged to children who attended the camp.

“I saw the earring lying on the ground after the children were gone... I left it on the (edge of the) bakkie because I thought the one who had lost it would come and fetch it.”

Van Rooyen said that did not make sense because the children would not have known to fetch the earring there without being told.

She said he could simply have gone to the girls and asked who the earring belonged to.

She asked why he had thrown the earring over his shoulder and shouted “that's nonsense”, when the policeman found it before his arrest.

“It's because I knew where it came from,” he replied.

The prosecutor asked why he did not tell the policeman at that stage that everything could be solved by looking for the girl from the camp.

“To tell the truth, during the warning statement I was not even aware I was there at the camp. My son only informed me the Saturday at the police station that we were at the camp.”

Van Rooyen said seeing the earring should have triggered a memory. De Jager said it did not at that stage.

The trial continues. - Sapa


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