Cape Town - The man who allegedly murdered and dismembered 16-year-old Charmaine Mare in Kraaifontein has been denied bail in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s court.
On Wednesday, magistrate Francis Makhamandela said Johannes de Jager had failed to provide exceptional circumstances to warrant his release on bail. Makhamandela said De Jager was charged with a schedule six offence because the murder was allegedly committed after De Jager tried to rape Charmaine.
The court heard during De Jager’s bail application last month that he allegedly made repeated sexual advances to Charmaine in January.
De Jager had been living with his girlfriend Carol White in Windsor Park for three years before the January 11 murder. Charmaine, from Mpumalanga, had come to Cape Town on January 3 to stay with White and her daughter Kristen, with whom she was friends. But White, Kristen and De Jager’s son had gone on a boat trip to Namibia and left Charmaine with De Jager, 48.
He is alleged to have killed Charmaine because she rejected his sexual advances. The court heard that Charmaine made cellphone recordings of conversations between her and De Jager in which he allegedly pursued her. She sent messages to someone back home and ran to a house in the area to seek money from an estate agent to get away from De Jager, but she was unsuccessful.
“It saddens the court to hear that the victim was trying to fight for her life, she must have died trying to fight for her life,” Makhamandela said.
Releasing De Jager on bail knowing that this case was pending and that he faced another, of a similar nature in the Atlantis Magistrate’s Court, would send the wrong message.
In the Atlantis case, De Jager is alleged to have raped and killed a 19-year-old prostitute in 2008. That case was withdrawn against him twice but after he was charged with Charmaine’s murder, police re-arrested him in connection with the first case.
Makhamandela said the murder of Charmaine and those of four other teenagers who were killed in February had caused “shock and outrage”.
She found that there was a likelihood that De Jager would influence and intimidate witnesses because he had allegedly made contact with White via his brother. There was also a strong likelihood De Jager would destroy evidence based on how he allegedly disposed of Charmaine’s body. He had maimed her body and dumped it in a drain near White’s home but removed it soon afterwards. De Jager is back in court on June 20.