Johannes de Jager remains in police custody following the murder of teenager Charmaine Mare. Photo: Daily Voice

Cape Town - Murdered teenage girl Charmaine Mare’s body parts have finally been recovered - scattered almost 40km across Cape Town.

Cops tracked down the 16-year-old Mpumalanga girl’s legs on a property close to Somerset West, just hours before her alleged killer appeared in court on Thursday charged with her murder.

Johannes de Jager made a brief appearance at the Blue Down’s Magistrates’ Court before he was led away to a police cell.

De Jager was arrested on Wednesday morning after cops found Charmaine’s arms stashed in the garage of his home in Elderman Street, Kraaifontein.

They made the gruesome discovery two days after the victim’s mutilated and burnt corpse was found two kilometres away in an open field, just off Darwin Road.

It is understood the suspect then led cops to an abandoned building in Firgrove, near Somerset West, where Charmaine’s legs were hidden.

It is still not known why the killer chopped up the victim’s corpse and hid her body parts in separate locations across the city.

Police are remaining extremely tight-lipped about their investigation and have refused to speculate on the shocking murder.

De Jager appeared calm and unfazed during his brief court appearance on Thursday.

The self-employed mechanic stood in the dock wearing faded blue jeans and a striped blue-and-white golf shirt as his name was called out.

He looked stony-faced and stared straight ahead as the proceedings got underway.

De Jager did not speak at any stage throughout the short hearing.

Magistrate Francis Makamadela postponed the case until January 24, pending further investigations.

The suspect showed no emotion as he was led away to Kraaifontein Police Station where he can be held for up to seven days before being transferred to prison.

Speaking after the hearing, De Jager’s defence attorney Wildre Fourie said he was aware his client may face other charges, but details of these were not read out in court.

“Currently the only charge against my client is just murder,”he said.

“The prosecution has indicated that for now it is only a schedule five matter but it may be changed to a schedule six at a later stage.”

None of De Jager’s family members were present in court.

Back at his home in Elterman Street, the alleged killer’s girlfriend briefly stuck her head out of the door to politely ask reporters camped outside the house to move away from her property.

Neighbours told the Daily Voice they are still struggling to come to terms with the gruesome murder that has rocked the normally quiet and peaceful residential area.

* This article was published in the Daily Voice