Lotter mitigation starts

2012-03-19 07:38

The Lotter trial continues today to allow double-convicted murderer Nicolette Lotter to call her uncle, Reverend Willem Lotter, to give evidence in mitigation of her sentencing.

Reverend Lotter, the brother of Nicolette’s father Johannes, and who had attended court proceedings from time to time, was a Dutch Reformed Church minister based in Cape Town.

On Tuesday, Durban High Court Judge Shyan Gyanda found Nicolette (29), her brother Hardus (23) and Nicolette’s former boyfriend Mathew Naidoo (25) guilty of murdering the siblings’ parents, Maria Magdelena Lotter (52) and Johannes (53) at their Westville home on July 19 2008.

Gyanda, sitting with two assessors, found the siblings had been influenced by Naidoo, who told them he was the third son of God. However, he said they still had the ability to differentiate between right and wrong.

Moments after being found guilty Naidoo denied planning or taking part in the murders of his former girlfriend’s parents.

Speaking to reporters from the dock during a break in proceedings, he said: “I just got found guilty today for murder. I have been found guilty. I accepted that, but I have not committed this crime.”

Naidoo said after his conviction that he expected to be handed two life sentences when the court reconvened for sentencing today.

Asked what sentences he thought the Lotter siblings would receive, he said: “To be honest with you, I don’t wish for anyone to be here. I don’t wish for anyone to be sentenced or to be found guilty of serious crimes. It’s not a good thing.

“I can’t wish evil on other people and not wish the same fate on myself. That would be very wrong. At the end of the day, I don’t understand why this crime was committed.

“I do feel for my ex-girlfriend and I do feel for my former friend (Hardus).”

He said he still had to decide whether he would appeal against his conviction, adding that he had “nothing against this judge”, who found him to be a pathological liar.

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