'I'm guilty. No I'm not.'

2011-11-08 00:00

IN a day of drama in the Durban High Court yesterday, Mathew Naidoo pleaded guilty to the Lotter murders, but after a short interval, when Judge Shayam Gayanda explained his confession in detail, Naidoo quickly changed his mind.

The day began with Naidoo being put under pressure by Roland Parshotam, the lawyer of of his co-accused, Hardus Lotter, who presented more damning letters in Naidoo’s handwriting to the court during cross-examination.

There was no trace of Naidoo’s former confidence as Parshotam grilled him to the point of confessing to what Naidoo himself described as a “heinous crime”.

Naidoo, Hardus and his sister, Nicolette, stand accused of murdering the Lotters’ parents, Maria Magdalena “Riekie” Lotter (52) and Johannes Petrus Lotter (53), on July 19, 2008.

The Lotter siblings contend that Naidoo was the mastermind of the plot to kill their parents, that he told them he was the third son of God and that God wanted the Lotter couple dead.

“I would like to plead guilty to the heinous crime. I just want this trial over and I want to bring peace to the Lotter and Naidoo families,” he told the court.

But when Judge Gayanda explained the confession to him in detail, Naidoo again appeared bemused and in shock.

“I want to plead guilty to the murders, but I did not kill them.”

Naidoo said he was not trying to mislead the court, but he often goes blank and can’t remember details.

Naidoo’s mother sat in the gallery teary-eyed, expecting the worst as her son was read his confession.

During the cross-examination Parshotam presented a letter that Naidoo rejected as his own, although it is in his handwriting. It expressed hatred toward his mother and members of his family.

“Do I have to take that cash from my mother, I can’t stand her anymore let alone take her money. And as for her brother and sisters, they are like sh*t to me.

“The men in my family are lusting over my wife and just want to use her for sex. They just want to use my wife because she’s white and the women all hate me for no reason,” reads the letter “to God”.

Naidoo retorted that he “would never say that about my mother, she has been here supporting me through all the court proceedings”.

Naidoo’s mother appeared hurt, and for the first time did not meet her son after the session.

Naidoo could not explain claims of Nicolette being “spiritually raped by three men” in the letters, which stated the rapes had upset him.

“Her father will die very soon, his life will be taken because of what he has done to people so people will do it to him. My father thank you for making me a better person for showing me how to handle the darkness in me”, the letter stated.

After his confession, Naidoo’s bail was revoked, despite his desperate plea, with the judge calling him a flight risk.

“Your client has accepted that he was an accessory in the murders even if he has denied the actual murders. I therefore deem him a flight risk and all three will remain in custody,” he told Naidoo’s lawyer Vijay Sivakumoor.

Naidoo — fear of his safety — asked to be kept in isolation while in custody, but Gayanda said he has no authority over the prisons. “We will however ensure that you are secure,” he said. Naidoo showed emotion for the first time as he was escorted to the police van that would take him to the Westville police station.

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