‘If I killed her, I would’ve made better plans’

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Copy of ca p7 de jager done.JPG INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Johannes de Jager in the Western Cape High Court. File photo: Tracey Adams

Cape Town -

Johannes de Jager was accused in the Western Cape High Court on Monday of raping and strangling Mpumalanga teenager Charmaine Mare.

Prosecutor Romay van Rooyen put it to De Jager that he had committed these crimes last January against the slain 16-year-old.

“You raped her. That's why you burned her pelvic area,” she said.

“You wanted to get rid of the evidence. That's why you got rid of the body.”

She accused him of strangling Mare because she was going to tell everyone he had raped her.

De Jager, 49, denied ever raping or strangling Mare, or attempting to get rid of evidence.

He has claimed that he burned her body after she had an accidental fatal fall in the bathroom of his Cape Town home.

Mare's torso was dumped and set alight on an open field in Kraaifontein.

Her lower legs and arms were found in separate locations and were in a state of decomposition but not burnt.

Van Rooyen asked if he knew where Mare's panties were.

“When I dragged her out there, she still had her blue tracksuit pants on... maybe it's a habit that she does not wear a panty,” De Jager replied.

Van Rooyen wondered whether De Jager had not removed Mare's pants and then forgotten or failed to put her underwear back on when he put the pants back on. He denied her version.

She asked why the pathologist had found blood in Mare's genital swabs.

“I don't have any knowledge about that,” he replied.

He was adamant that Mare's decomposing body had only secreted fluids and not blood when he moved it around.

Van Rooyen also put it to him that he had removed the battery from Mare's cellphone and tried to throw it away because he did not want people to read her messages.

She said the messages sent to Mare's friend about De Jager's advances would have incriminated him.

He denied removing the battery.

Van Rooyen again put it to him that he had murdered the teen.

“If I murdered Charmaine, then I would not have been here today. I would have made better plans,” De Jager said.

Van Rooyen said he did try to make a plan by destroying her body.

“Yes, I know,” he said.

The State finished its cross-examination. Sakkie Maartens, for De Jager, declined to re-examine his client.

The trial continues. - Sapa


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