State seeks life term for de JagerComment on this story
Cape Town - Johannes Christiaan de Jager is a “monster” who must be jailed for life so he cannot prey on other innocent women, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.
Prosecutor Romay van Rooyen argued that the minimum sentence of life imprisonment was applicable for the serious crimes he had committed against two women.
De Jager, 49, was last month convicted of killing 16-year-old Charmaine Mare last year and raping and killing 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina Alexander in 2008.
He was also found guilty of stealing Mare's cellphone and cutting off her arms and legs.
On these counts, Van Rooyen said the court should hand down six years' direct imprisonment.
“The court must take into account that the minimum sentence is imposed to protect women and children who are especially vulnerable in South African society.”
She said that even though she had given De Jager a chance in the dock to admit to the crimes on Thursday, he had remained resolute.
“He has shown no remorse... that leaves him with no substantial and compelling circumstances.”
During sentencing proceedings earlier in the day, police investigative psychology unit commander Brigadier Gerard Labuschagne testified that he would classify De Jager as a serial killer.
Labuschagne said serial killers tended to be at a high risk of re-offending. Sex offenders were extremely difficult to rehabilitate since their crimes were linked to their sex drives. He said it was only when offenders admitted responsibility for their actions that rehabilitation was possible.
“ 1/8It is my opinion 3/8 that the accused poses and will continue to pose a real and significant threat to adult females.”
Van Rooyen said De Jager killed the two by preying on them.
“In the case of Hiltina Alexander... he took the trust she had in him and totally destroyed the trust. She met her death in a very violent way,” she said.
The fate of his second victim, Mare, was also in his hands in the week that she was entrusted to his care.
“We can only imagine the fear that she lived under... one can say that when she spurned his sexual advances, he became a monster.”
Sakkie Maartens had argued that his client's modus operandi did not fit that of a serial killer and that he had been a productive member of society until his crimes.
Though De Jager had asked for him to apply for observation at a psychiatric hospital, he had found no evidence to help him in this regard.
Van Rooyen said De Jager had not shown signs of not being able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his crimes.
“If we take into account the evidence of Labuschagne, there are no signs he has seen in personal circumstances that the accused did indeed suffer from a mental illness.”
Acting Judge Chuma Cossie agreed with the State.
“I don't think there is any basis to that, from evidence that was led and submissions made,” she said.
De Jager would remain in custody until his sentence was handed down next Tuesday.