KZN siblings killed for inheritance – State

2011-10-24 14:41

A brother and a sister and the girl’s boyfriend plotted to kill the siblings’ parents to get share of the inheritance, the Durban High Court heard today.

State prosecutor Rea Mima said they also planned to get rid of the parents so that the boyfriend, Mathew Naidoo, could stay on in the house in Thames Avenue, Westville, Durban.

The deceased, Magdelena (52) a teacher, and Johannes Lotter (53), a businessman, had been unhappy about Naidoo living in the house.

Later evidence in court today was that Magdelena had kicked him out.

All three accused, Nicolette and Hardus Lotter and Naidoo, pleaded not guilty to the double murders in July 2008.

Magdelena died from “multiple penetrating injuries to the left lung”, while her husband died from strangulation.

Naidoo said statements he later made to the police had been under duress as he had been assaulted by the police and made to confess to the crime.

Detective Warrant Officer Jabulani Duma told the court he went to the crime scene where he found the three accused sitting in the dining room.

He was shown Johannes Lotter’s body face down in the passage, covered with a white sheet. There was a white electrical cable cord around his neck. There were bloodstains on a nearby wall.

He found Magdelena Lotter’s body in the kitchen. She had been stabbed in the neck. She was on her back and had also been covered with a sheet. A black-handled knife lay next to her. A cellphone charger was wrapped around her left shoulder.

Duma found two pieces of broomstick in the main bedroom and one in Hardus Lotter’s bedroom.

He noticed a cut on Hardus’s left thumb and bruises on his hand. His elbow, chest and shoulders were also bruised.

When asked what had happened, he told Duma he returned home at 9pm and: “All of a sudden two men entered the front door, both were wearing balaclavas and gloves.

“They grabbed me, put me on the floor pointed a firearm against my head and forced me into the bedroom where they locked me up.”

Hardus said he heard a commotion and his parents’ screams.

He saw his father lying in the passageway and his mother in the kitchen when he was let out of the bedroom by his sister the next morning.

He had hugged the bodies of both of his parents.

Nicolette told the detective she left home at 10pm after an argument with her mother.

She went to the Pavilion Shopping Centre in Westville to meet Naidoo and watch a movie.

She returned home at 1.40am and saw a note and house keys on the wall.

The note read: “I have done what I said I was going to do. To any investigator the suspects are Nicolette Hardus and M Naidoo. So who is it? If you find out, tell me.”

It quoted three verses from the Bible’s book of Job about life and death.

Nicolette told Duma she opened the house and found her father lying dead in the passage.

She unlocked her brother from his bedroom, then went to the kitchen where she found her dead mother.

She then contacted Naidoo, who she had left elsewhere in Westville, and told him her parents had been murdered.

He contacted the police and accompanied them to the house.

Duma said the three accused were in shock, but were not crying. They were later taken to the trauma unit at Westville police station.

He told the court that he knew all three accused and the mother, who had opened a case of intimidation against an unknown person.

Nicolette and Hardus had also opened cases of robbery against two unknown suspects on two separate occasions.

Hardus had claimed that two men in a Volkswagen had robbed while he was riding a bike.

They broke his cellphone and threatened him. They put him into their car and dropped him off in Pinetown.

He was told that his parents’ days were numbered.

The detective said the father had told him that he had received death threats on his cellphone.

Detectives had to go to the house to interview everyone in the family to get any leads about where the threats came from.

Magdalena told him that Naidoo was having a relationship with her daughter and he had been staying at the house.

She had kicked him out of the house and asked the detective to interview Naidoo as well.

Nicolette told him that Naidoo sneaked into the house at night when her parents were asleep.

The detective said that he saw the threats against the Lotters on the wife’s cellphone.

The first one, on June 10, said “You Lotters make me sick, your days are numbered. We will kill you from a month today. If I was you I would start praying. Amen. This is for all the people you wronged.”

Another SMS was received the next day: “I said you people make me sick. You are going to pay for what you did to me... we mean business. Amen”

A third threat read: “Hello Lotters, this the last of the three SMS I will be sending. I hope that dear Hardus is fine. He is such a little boy... but a son of yours would be a moffie (homosexual). By the way, how is Christelle doing [the Lotter’s other daughter]... she is the lucky one. Well don’t worry about Nicolette or others. They were just messages of warning... as God says ’an eye for and eye’.”

The trial continues.

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