State says Cape murder accused is lying

Cape Town - Double murder accused Johannes Christiaan de Jager fabricated a stranger to distance himself from a crime that happened, the Western Cape High Court heard on Thursday.

Prosecutor Romay van Rooyen put it to De Jager during cross-examination that he had lied to the court about details surrounding his meeting with slain prostitute Hiltina Alexander in May 2008.

In reply, he denied lying about a stranger called "Johan", who was a possible alibi or suspect.

De Jager has pleaded not guilty to raping and killing the 18-year-old Alexander in Cape Town, and not guilty to killing Mpumalanga resident Charmaine Mare in January last year.

De Jager testified in chief that he met a man called "Johan" once at a pub in Parow, the day before Alexander's body was found.

He said Johan wanted a prostitute, so he picked Alexander up off the street and took her back to Johan's sister's flat.

When Van Rooyen initially asked what Johan looked like, De Jager said he had grey-black hair and was shorter and older than him.

Later, Van Rooyen asked for a better description, and De Jager elaborated that Johan was balding in front, had light skin and a moustache.

"If I can get a policeman, I can put up an identikit," he offered.

Van Rooyen said it was strange he had not given this description initially to the court, the investigating officer, or the officers who conducted his pointing out of the flat at a later stage.

"It looks more and more like this Johan doesn't exist and this flat of his sister where he stayed does not exist," the prosecutor said.

She said he had also failed to mention in his warning statement to police that he picked Alexander up the same weekend he met Johan.

De Jager replied he was confused at the time as to which weekend he had picked her up.

"Did you forget you left Hiltina in Johan's flat that weekend?" Van Rooyen asked.

De Jager said he gave a statement about what he could remember at the time.

"You did leave Hiltina out because you wanted to distance yourself from the fact you were with her that evening," Van Rooyen said.

"I cannot say with certainty," De Jager replied.

De Jager's cross-examination is set to resume on Monday.