Murdered girl’s last words
Cape Town - Police say sixteen-year-old murder victim Charmaine Mare has “spoken from the grave” after they obtained 15 recordings from her cellphone in which she pleads with her alleged murderer not to have sex with her.
The girl recorded the conversations between herself and the man suspected of killing her, Johan de Jager, shortly before she was murdered earlier this month, various police investigators working on the case have revealed to Weekend Argus.
The investigators may not be named in terms of police protocol.
De Jager, 48, is alleged to have cut off her arms and legs with a boltcutter on January 11 and placed them together with her torso inside a drain close to the Kraaifontein home where he lived and where she visited a female friend and the friend’s mother. He allegedly later dumped the body parts elsewhere.
Investigators believe the girl was raped.
Police found her cellphone in the Kraaifontein home and were shocked when they started extracting some of the content.
One of the investigators told Weekend Argus: “It was heart-breaking to listen to the recordings. She keeps saying: ‘No, uncle, no. I can’t’. He says: ‘But why not?’ and she answers: ‘Because I’m underage, I’m not yet 16’.”
“On the recordings, she can also be heard saying: ‘No uncle, you can’t come and lie by me. Uncle, I’m only 16 and I don’t want to’,” said the policeman.
Weekend Argus also understands De Jager allegedly refused to give her food unless she agreed to have sex with him.
The investigator said in another message the girl recorded, she said: “I’m s**t scared.”
She also contacted her mother and another woman to tell them how afraid and unsafe she felt. Although this woman advised her to go to the police, she never got that far.
The investigator further described De Jager’s actions after he allegedly killed the girl.
“He tried to get her whole body into the drain, but it wouldn’t fit, so he cut her arms and legs off and fitted her body into the drain,” the police investigator told Weekend Argus.
Mare, from Mpumalanga, had been visiting her friend in Kraaifontein from January 3. Her friend’s mother is De Jager’s girlfriend.
De Jager’s girlfriend and her daughter apparently thought nothing of asking Mare to stay at their Kraaifontein home with De Jager for four days from Monday, January 7 to Thursday, January 10, while the two went on a boat cruise between Cape Town and Namibia.
On Friday morning, January 11, at 7am, De Jager sat next to Mare’s body at the Kraaifontein home and wondered what to do with it, police investigators claim.
But by 9am, when De Jager picked up Mare’s friend and the friend’s mother from their boat-trip, he had gotten rid of the body by hiding it in a drain close to the home.
When De Jager picked them up, “He told them: ‘Listen here, she went to the shop this morning and she never came back’,” one of the investigators said.
That Sunday and Monday, he allegedly took his chance when his girlfriend and her daughter were out of the house, to remove the body parts from the drain, transport them elsewhere and either dump them or hide them.
Police suspect that on Sunday night, January 13, when De Jager was alone and his girlfriend had left the Kraaifontein home, he allegedly removed the torso, took it five kilometres away to a field across the road from the Kraaifontein shooting range and set it alight.
On the Monday, he allegedly dumped the victim’s legs alongside a bridge in Macassar Road leading to the N2 highway between Somerset West to Cape Town.
Later, he allegedly removed her arms from the drain and hid them in a box underneath a car at the Kraaifontein home.
He was arrested on January 15, appeared in the Blue Down’s Magistrate’s Court the next day, and made a second appearance in the court on Thursday, when the case was postponed until February 15 for a bail hearing.