Expert testifies on Inge Lotz’s wounds

2010-11-30 12:18

The shape of the wounds inflicted on murdered Stellenbosch student Inge Lotz matched the dimensions of a hammer owned by her boyfriend, Fred van der Vyver, a forensic pathologist testified today.

Dr Linda Liebenberg was giving evidence in the Cape High Court where Van der Vyver is suing the minister of police for R46 million for malicious prosecution.

Liebenberg, who was called by the minister’s legal team, said she had done 13 000 autopsies and supervised thousands more.

Using images of Lotz’s head wounds projected on to a screen, she superimposed photographs of the ornamental hammer to show, she said, that the dimensions matched.

She said the wounds could have been caused by the round 22mm diameter striking surface of the hammer – the bottle-opener back or the flat side.

Before she entered the witness box, however, presiding Judge Anton Veldhuizen told the minister’s lead counsel, Kosie Olivier, that he did not know how much further her testimony would take the matter.

The high-water mark of her evidence would be that the hammer could not be excluded as a murder weapon, but the same went for tens of thousands of other hammers in the Western Cape.

“Where does that take us?” he asked.

Lotz, a master’s student, was found bludgeoned to death in her Stellenbosch flat in March 2005.

Van der Vyver was tried and acquitted.

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