Cape Town - The attorney for the man arrested for the brutal murder of a 16-year-old girl in Kraaifontein this week says his client could be recharged for another murder, committed several years ago in Atlantis.
The torso of Charmaine Mare was found in an open field on Monday. Her arms and legs had been cut off, and her body burnt beyond recognition.
On Wednesday, Johan de Jager, 48, was arrested in connection with the murder after Mare’s arms were found in his garage. He appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, charged with murder.
A police source said that Charmaine’s legs were found on Thursday on the N2 near Macassar, after De Jager pointed out the site to police.
olice spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk refused to confirm this last night.
De Jager’s attorney, Wildre Fourie, said that when his client was arrested on Wednesday, the investigating officer had indicated to him that there was another murder case against De Jager in Atlantis, which had been withdrawn because certain witnesses were unavailable at the time. Fourie did not remember the details of the case, but said he had represented De Jager at the time.
“I don’t remember the details, but the victim was an adult woman. I think it might have been about two years ago,” he said.
Some media reports yesterday indicated that the matter related to a 2008 murder.
Fourie said that the investigating officer in the current case had told him it was possible that the Atlantis charges would be reinstated.
It is understood that Charmaine, who arrived in Kraaifontein from Mpumalanga on January 3, had been friends with the daughter of De Jager’s girlfriend.
De Jager’s girlfriend, her daughter and his son went on a week-long cruise soon after the girl arrived, leaving her alone at their Elterman Road home with De Jager. She was reported missing after they returned last Friday, and her body discovered at around noon on Monday.
She was identified by Detective Warrant Officer Daniel Sampson, who checked missing persons records for a description of the necklace and tongue ring found on her body.
Neighbours in the quiet Kraaifontein street said De Jager had lived there for about three years. All those who Weekend Argus spoke to yesterday described him as “friendly” and “normal”.
No one heard or saw anything out of the ordinary, and most said they had not seen Charmaine or even known that she was visiting. A neighbour who had spoken to De Jager just before his arrest on Wednesday said that nothing had been out of the ordinary.
One neighbour said that De Jager had told him the girl would be coming to visit, and that they would be staying at the house alone.
“I warned him that it might not be a good idea that they stay alone just in case something went wrong,” the neighbour said.
When Weekend Argus visited the house yesterday, a woman and a young man came to the door but declined to comment. A pair of schoolgirls walked up to the gate of the house, peering inside, before heading off in another direction, while some other curious onlookers drove past slowly.
At the scene about 5km from the house, where Charmaine’s burnt torso was discovered, a charred patch indicated the scene of the crime. The open piece of land is surrounded by a concrete wall. The body was found near an entrance in the wall, facing the road.
A melted piece of navy blue mesh fabric lay in the burned rubble with another piece of red fabric, with a red and white heart border that could possibly have been underwear.
De Jager will appear in court again next Thursday.