Ignore de Jager’s callousness: lawyerComment on this story
Cape Town - The Western Cape High Court should not find that Johannes Christiaan de Jager murdered a teenager because he described her dismemberment without emotion, his lawyer said on Thursday.
Sakkie Maartens was referring in his closing arguments to his client's description of dismembering 16-year-old Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare last January.
On the stand, De Jager said removing her limbs while under the influence “was the same as slaughtering a goat in the veld”.
Maartens said he understood the remark did not generate a lot of sympathy or empathy.
“Do not read this callousness into the murder and constitute it as some sort of proof that we have the right man and he killed her intentionally and unlawfully,” he said.
De Jager, 49, has pleaded not guilty to killing Mare, and not guilty to raping and killing 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina
Alexander in 2008.
He previously testified that Mare died in an accidental fatal fall in his bathroom and that he dismembered her body and set her torso alight in a panicked and shocked state.
Maartens said De Jager had been on the scene at the time and the court could thus not ignore his version of events.
The pathologist who examined Mare's body could not make a conclusive finding on the cause of death, he said.
“Except for the accused's version, the court simply remains in the dark as to why, how and exactly when Charmaine died.”
Maartens said the flaws and inconsistencies in De Jager's testimony where not of such a nature that the court could reject his evidence as false.