The man accused of strangling his wife to death at their home in October 2021, allegedly did it to cash out on life policies taken out in her name.
Werner de Jager appeared in the Amanzimtoti Magistrate's Court where the State revealed its intent to level Schedule 6 charges of murder against him, suggesting that his wife, Liezel de Jager's murder was premeditated.
Liezel, a mom of two and a priest at the NG Kerk Suidkus, was found dead in her garden at the couple's home in Amanzimtoti on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast. The 38-year-old woman had strangulation marks around her neck, police said.
Action Society's Ian Cameron told IOL that De Jager further faces a fraud charge.
"He was trying to claim the life insurance policies against Liezel’s name, even after the investigation officer told him he was not allowed to do so. Other evidence suggests that De Jager lied about his activities at the time of Liezel’s murder," Cameron said.
Cameron added that this should serve even more as a reason for the court to deny De Jager's bail application.
"This man, like any other suspect arrested on suspicion of violence against women or children, should not be allowed to put a foot outside of jail while he is being investigated," he said.
He added that De Jager put Liezel’s loved ones, including her parents and two daughters, through intense pain and sorrow, and he continues doing so by lying.
"His actions following Liezel’s death have also caused suffering for other families. He should remain in custody to protect against any further life-taking incidents, Cameron said.
De Jager will be back in court on January 24 for the continuation of his bail application.