Lotters cry as confession is read

2011-10-27 00:00

POSTMORTEM results disclosed at the Durban High Court for the first time since court proceedings this week evoked emotion from the Lotter siblings, shortly before Mathew Naidoo, the alleged mastermind of the murder plot, was called to the stand.

Initially smiling, Hardus and Nicolette Lotter spoke to their respective counsels before settling in to hear graphic details of the findings of a Dr Pillay who examined the bodies of the Lotters’ murdered parents.

In his testimony, Dr Pillay said that both parents endured long and painful deaths at the hands of their assailant or assailants.

“Magdalene Lotter ultimately died after she was punctured in the lungs and thyroid gland. It was also found that she was stabbed several times in her chest and breasts and beaten up badly,” he said.

There was also evidence that syringe needles pierced her hands, possibly when her assailant attempted to inject air into her bloodstream. A tazer was also used, and her ear was sliced.

Johannes Lotter was strangled to death and there was evidence of severe haemorrhaging.

When the prosecutor read out Hardus’s confession to prove it agreed with testimony by the doctor, Hardus broke down in tears, Next to him Nicolette closed her eyes, a Bible in her hand as tears also coursed down her face. Their co-accused Naidoo sat seemingly unaffected but anxious.

Evidence of Hardus putting a pair of socks in his mother’s mouth as he electrocuted, stabbed and beat her, matched findings of the postmortem, as did his confession of strangling his father with a cable.

Hardus admitted to fighting his father for an hour and a half before finally subduing and killing him.

Called to the stand, Naidoo came across as extremely confident and articulate. But he appeared to crack and often contradicted himself during cross-examination by the state and when questions were posed by presiding magistrate Shyam Giyanda.

Naidoo failed to adequately explain timelines and often contradicted his own counsel.

He claimed he confessed under duress by police officers at the Organised Crime Unit in Cato Manor, who “slapped him around”.

Naidoo also said that there was a conspiracy between officers and the lawyer from Legal Aid, a Mr T.V. Naidoo, to implicate him in the murder.

“I didn’t trust anyone especially my appointed attorney at the time and I couldn’t at any point complain about police assaulting me for fear of my safety,” he said.

Magdelene and Johannes Lotter were found brutally murdered in their Westville home in July 2008.

The three accused have been heavily implicated, with the state claiming that inheritance money was the motive.

The trial continues today.

• rowan.sewchurran@witness.co.za

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