Liezel de Jager murder: Christmas in jail for husband

The husband of a reverend who was murdered in October 2021, Werner de Jager, will remain behind bars as his bail application was postponed.

A relaxed Werner de Jager made his second appearance in the Amanzimtoti Magistrate’s Court today where he was scheduled to apply for bail.

When he arrived just after 09:00, he was taken to the holding cells where he waited for his case to be called, but he briefly left the cells to change into some new clothes that someone had brought him. He had arrived wearing the same clothing he had on 10 days earlier when he made his first court appearance.

Werner is accused of murdering his wife, Reverend Liezel of the NG Kerk-Suidkus, in October 2021. She was strangled to death at her home.

‘Respect my client’

When the case got underway, his privately appointed attorney André May from Potchefstroom told the court he had no problem with the cameras being allowed in court, but asked for his client to be shown some respect as some photographers had ‘come too close to the defendant’s personal space’.

“In principle, I don’t have any problem with the media, but we want respect. Let’s not turn this into a circus,” said May.

Magistrate Zama Nyuswa said there was no problem with the media photographing Werner as he already appeared in the media and the case had already been made public.

Court proceedings

The prosecution team asked the court to postpone the bail application to next year to allow them to finalise details that include the confirmation of Werner’s residential address and a report on his mental well-being. The defence said they did not oppose the postponement, stating that they would give it more time to study the case and allow for the investigations team to finalise some details.

May told the court that Werner had been staying at the same address where he was arrested since February, so there was no need for a lengthy postponement for verification purposes. He complained, however, that his client is not getting his prescribed medication. He asked the court to ensure that a prescription note made by Werner’s doctor be forwarded to the authorities to ensure that he could get his medication.

The case was postponed to January 9, 2024, for bail application, but the state has indicated that it will oppose bail. Werner was remanded back into custody at Westville Prison.

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