Families wait with bated breath for De Jager judgment, expected today

By IAfrica
In South Africa
Apr 29th, 2014

CAPE TOWN – Judgment on double murder-accused Johannes Christiaan de Jager is expected in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Judge Chuma Cossie had postponed judgment to allow more time for deliberation.

On April 15, prosecutor Romay van Rooyen said she received supplementary heads of argument from De Jager’s lawyer and had answered them on April 14.

De Jager (49) pleaded not guilty to killing 16-year-old Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare in January last year, and not guilty to raping and killing 18-year-old prostitute Hiltina Alexander in 2008.

He previously testified that Mare died in an accidental fatal fall, saying he dismembered her body and set her torso alight in a panicked and shocked state.

He pleaded guilty at the start of the trial to dismemberment and a lesser charge of theft of Mare’s phone, rather than robbery.

His lawyer Sakkie Maartens said in closing argument that De Jager was guilty of common assault on his own version of forcefully grabbing Mare before she fell.

Maartens asked the court not to find De Jager guilty of murder simply because of the callousness he displayed when testifying on how he dismembered Mare.

On the stand, De Jager had said removing her limbs while under the influence “was the same as slaughtering a goat in the veld”.

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