Teen’s death ‘shocked’ murder accusedComment on this story
Cape Town - Mpumalanga teen Charmaine Mare's fatal slip on a bath mat last year was sudden and shocking, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.
“I was so shocked and confused at that moment. One minute, she was alive and standing, the next moment she was dead,” Johannes Christiaan de Jager testified in Afrikaans.
“I was not at my full senses. I was not myself... I was sitting on my haunches and I was crying.”
De Jager, 49, has denied he murdered 16-year-old Mare in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, on January 11 last year, and insisted it was an accident.
He explained to the court he had repeatedly checked whether Mare was ready that morning because they had to be at the Cape Town harbour at 9am and beat the traffic.
Despite having drunk around three litres of brandy and some whisky the night before, he had woken up at 6am, showered and readied himself.
He opened her bedroom door to wake her up and she was on her phone.
He pulled the car out, spoke to his son on the phone and went to check up on Mare again.
He said she was still on the bed in her clothing.
When he went to fetch something from his bedroom, she was in her bathroom with her phone.
“That's when I lost my temper and I grabbed her right arm and told her we must go.”
He said he swore at her at the same time he grabbed her because he was angry at her delaying them.
“She slipped on the little mat. In the process she fell, with her head I just assume, her upper body on the edge of the bath. It was a matter of a few seconds.”
He said Mare lay there motionless and her eyes did not move.
He took her by the jaw and shook her head because he thought she had fainted.
Mare apparently made no sound and did not have a pulse when he checked.
No blood was visible on her face or body.
De Jager said he could not think clearly and dragged her body through the house and out the garage, to a municipal drain on the property.
“I opened the drain and put her inside the drain.”
He did not have a problem fitting the body inside because he drew her legs to her chest and then replaced the steel drain lid.
He took Mare's cellphone with him and left the house.
At a demolished house in the area, he threw the phone out the car and it landed on the pavement, among some bushes.
De Jager's testimony would resume on Tuesday.