Cape Town 17-01-2013 Johannes de Jager suspect in the murder of Charmaine Mare (16) he made a brief appearance at the Blue Downs Magistrate court picture Supplied

Cape Town - A Ruyterwacht man accused of killing two teenagers in separate incidents said he had “a lot” of witnesses for the trial, expected to start in October.

Dressed in a navy blue and grey fleece top and a pair of blue jeans, Johannes de Jager, 48, cut a solitary figure in the dock in the empty court room at the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

His lawyer, Niel Slabber, withdrew from the case because of “inadequate financial instruction”. He was the second attorney to withdraw from the case.

In January, De Jager was arrested and charged with the murder of 16-year-old Charmaine Mare in Cape Town.

Mare was on holiday from Mpumalanga with a Kraaifontein friend when she was attacked and mutilated.

The State alleges De Jager murdered the teenager before dismembering and burning her body and dumping her scorched torso in a field near Windsor Park.

De Jager was also charged with the murder of 18-year-old Hiltina Alexander in May 2008.

The State has since combined the two cases. Magistrate Francis Makhamandela asked De Jager whether he would be applying for legal aid. He replied: “Yes.”

Asked if he had witnesses who could be subpoenaed to the pre-trial and trial proceedings, he said: “Yes, I have a lot of witnesses.”

The case was postponed for pre-trial in the Western Cape High Court on September 13 and the trial was set for October 7 to 31.

Cape Argus