Lotters: Accused kids ask for money

2008-08-28 00:00

A special bank account has been opened for Nicolette and Hardus Lotter, the siblings who allegedly killed their parents, to help fund their court case.

The siblings and Nicolette’s boyfriend, Mathew Naidoo, made a brief appearance in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

They have been charged with the murders of Johan Lotter and his wife Magdalena, who were found dead in their Westville home in July.

Johan had been strangled and Magdalena had been stabbed several times in the kitchen.

Lotter was the head of the Bayer/Lanxess chemical plant situated in Merebank and was well-known in the Westville suburb, where the couple had lived for the past 18 years.

Yesterday, the tiny courtroom was packed with family members of the accused and media.

Nicolette and Hardus entered the dock with heads bowed, while Naidoo waved and smiled at his family.

During the proceedings, Magistrate Yuga Naidu adjourned the case to September 30 so that the psychological evaluations can be completed.

Outside the courtroom, the siblings’ lawyer, Danie Grundlingh, handed out a media statement to journalists calling for donations to help the siblings.

“My office has been inundated by concerned members of the public indicating that they wish to assist financially in the defence of Nicolette and Hardus,” the statement said.

Grundlingh said the funds are for various experts who will be used to assist in the Lotters’ defence.

“Unfortunately, all the experts in this case are not funded by the state and therefore funds are required to make payment of these experts to assist in the trial,” he said.

The bank account was opened in the name of Nicolette and will be audited by an independent auditor to make sure that the money is only used for the Lotters’ defence.

The three accused have been remanded to Westville Prison. Previously, the Lotter siblings were held at Westville police cells and Naidoo in the Cato Manor police cells.

Before the case was remanded, Magistrate Naidu asked Naidoo’s lawyer Rajendra Nathalall whether Westville Prison was suitable for the accused and why Fort Napier was not considered.

Naidu felt that Fort Napier would be more appropriate because psychological evaluations are being conducted on the accused.

Nathalall said that nothing has happened in the past two weeks and the evaluation has nothing to do with his client’s mental capacity.

Regarding Naidoo’s bail application, Nathalall indicated that his client will be applying for bail.

Grundlingh said that he had not taken instruction from his clients regarding their bail application.

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