Court hears testimony of slain teen’s friend

A friend of slain teenager Charmaine Mare pretended to be her mother in a phone call to her alleged killer, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

Mpumalanga resident Nikita Small, 25, said she had kept in telephonic contact with Mare, 16, and decided to come up with a plan to scare 48-year-old Johannes Christiaan de Jager.

She phoned him on January 9, 2013, after Mare complained he was making sexual advances towards her at the house in Cape Town where she was staying.

“I spoke to him and told him I am Charmaine’s mother. I asked him what’s going on and told him my child is not happy you are touching her,” Small testified in Afrikaans.

“He said: ‘Mrs, I would not do anything to your child and I would not touch her.’ Then he laughed.”

Small warned De Jager she would phone the police if Mare complained about his behaviour again. De Jager has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Mare, from Mpumalanga, in January last year. He has also denied raping and killing prostitute Hiltina Alexander in May 2008.

De Jager was living with his girlfriend, her daughter and his son in a house in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, at the time of Mare’s death. Mare had been staying at the house during a holiday visit to the daughter.

Small said she and Mare had used Blackberry messages, text messages and phone calls to keep in contact while apart.

“By the 7th [January 2013], she let me know that he’s doing funny things to her and that he also touched her.”

On January 9 last year, before pretending to be Mare’s mother, she had tried phoning Kraaifontein police station three or four times.

“I explained what was going on and asked them [the police] to go fetch Charmaine at the house and take her to the police station,” Small said.

When she phoned the first time, the police promised to send an officer to the address she had provided, she said. Mare told her no officer ever arrived at the house.

Sakkie Maartens, for De Jager, asked the State witness whether there were any messages from Mare stating De Jager had done something to her, in the form of sexual assault.

“No, according to me she said she’s scared and he’s sitting next to her that day,” Small replied.

Maartens said that should there be accusations that De Jager had tried anything with Mare the night before she died, he would say he was out of the house at the time.

The trial was postponed until February 24, when a new witness was expected to testify.


today in print

today in print