Cape Town-131113-Johannes de Jager accused of murdering and dismembering Charmaine Mare and a prostitute, Hiltina Alexander appeared in the Western Cape High Court today-Reporter-Jade Otto-Photographer-Tracey Adams


Cape Town - Murder accused Johannes Christiaan de Jager was away at a Voortrekker camp the weekend one of his alleged victims was killed, he told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Testifying in his own defence, De Jager, 49, told the court his version of events during the weekend of May 16 to 19, 2008.

He has pleaded not guilty to raping and killing prostitute Hiltina Alexander on Sunday, May 18, 2008, and to killing Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare in January 2013.

“On that Saturday, I was at the Voortrekker Commando in Wemmershoek,” he testified in Afrikaans.

He said he slept on a train at the camp that evening and left for Cape Town on Sunday afternoon.

“I drove home and dropped things off. I got myself ready and then I went to the pub, Smugglers, in Parow.”

At the pub, he met a man called Johan, who was a bus driver from Namibia. They played pool the whole evening and took advantage of the double brandy and coke special, he said. When the pub closed at midnight, they drove in separate cars back to Johan's sister's flat and drank further.

Later that night, he picked up Alexander in Voortrekker Road to take her back to the flat for Johan.

His lawyer, Sakkie Maartens, had to tell him to slow down because he was speaking as fast “as a machine gun”.

His testimony contradicted that of two brothers who had been friendly with Alexander. They previously testified that they saw him picking Alexander up between Saturday night and Sunday morning, not the Sunday night going into Monday. One of the brothers later conceded it could have been either evening.

The court also heard more details about De Jager's history. He passed Matric in 1984 and served in the army for two years. He worked as a train driver for five years before he accepted a retrenchment package. He and his brother opened up a panelbeating business.

He got married around 1996 and had two children, a 19-year-old son called Nick and a 10-year-old daughter.

He later got divorced.

The trial continues. - Sapa