I’ll never forgive him, says Charmaine’s mom

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de jager SAPA Slain teenager Charmaine Mar�s mother, Katrina Mar�, and friend Nikita Small in the Western Cape High Court after the man accused of murdering her, Johan de Jager, appeared briefly in the dock. Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht

Cape Town - Double murder-accused Johan de Jager should be “locked up”, say the mother and best friend of slain teenager Charmaine Maré.

Whether he actually committed the crimes, however, is for the Western Cape High Court to decide.

Judgment was expected to be handed down on Tuesday but was postponed to April 29 after the defence and the State handed in extra documents as part of their written arguments.

De Jager faces seven charges relating to two separate incidents – the murder of Charmaine Maré, 16, on January 11 last year and the rape and murder of a sex worker, Hiltina Alexander, 18, five years earlier.

While he pleaded guilty to two charges for dismembering and burning Charmaine’s body, he pleaded not guilty to murdering her. He also pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape and a charge of the murder of Alexander.

When De Jager entered court on Tuesday, Charmaine’s mother, Katrina Maré, began weeping and was comforted by the teenager’s best friend, Nikita Small.

The two made the trip from Mpumalanga, where Charmaine is from.

After the brief proceedings, Maré and Small spoke out against De Jager despite the fact that the court’s verdict was still to be delivered.

“I will never forgive him,” said Maré, who believed he should be “put away”.

Small said that for a while after Charmaine’s death, she was “very hurt” and felt as if she didn’t want to go on living without her.

They were also disappointed that the judgment had been postponed.

“It’s taking very long with all the postponements,” said Small.

She felt that De Jager should be found guilty, locked up and that the authorities should “throw away the key”.

During her stay in Cape Town, Charmaine had been living at the Kraaifontein home of Carol White, De Jager’s partner at the time. Charmaine had been friends with White’s daughter.

A few days before her death, the family had gone on a boat cruise, leaving De Jager and Charmaine behind.

De Jager’s version is that Charmaine died after she slipped and fell in the bathroom, hitting the edge of the bathtub. He’d panicked and hid her body in a drain, he said.

According to him, he had later tried to remove the body from the drain; however in order to do this he had to cut off her arms at the elbows and legs at the knees.

He then dumped her body on a field in Kraaifontein and set it alight.

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Cape Argus

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