Lotter: Accuseds’ evidence at odds

2011-11-04 00:00

“SHE called me son, and treated me like her own,” said Mathew Naidoo of murdered Magdelene Lotter, in his testimony yesterday.

Naidoo also claimed that Magdalene partnered Hardus to his matric dance, which had embarrassed Hardus.

Naidoo went off on a tangent about how close he was to the Lotter family, before being stopped by Judge Shyam Giyanda, contradicting claims by the co-accused Lotter siblings that his welcome at the residence had long expired.

“Mr Lotter often asked me to make curry for him when he had a craving for it, to which I obliged, and Mrs Lotter’s dad had suffered a stroke. I remember massaging his legs, for which he was always grateful.”

He described the family as a troubled one and that only when he arrived to stay was some peace restored.

Nicolette and Mrs Lotter were always fighting and Hardus always stayed in his room, although there were times when he would belittle Nicolette and shout at her to stop arguing with her mother.

“I spoke to them individually and told them that families should not have such conflicts,” said Naidoo.

Describing the various personalities in the household, Naidoo said that Johannes Lotter was an alcoholic and when drunk he turned into a very “sad” person.

“Mrs Lotter asked me to calm him down when he was drunk.

“I tried to stop him from drinking,” he added.

Nicolette was “very dominating” and hated the closeness that he and her mum shared.

“‘You are my boyfriend, not hers’, she often told me when Mrs Lotter confided in me.”

Throughout the proceedings Hardus and Nicolette would from time to time look up from their Bibles and look at Naidoo seemingly in disbelief.

Naidoo described Hardus as “peculiar” and an introvert.

“Mrs Lotter asked me to take him out and teach him how to get along with girls, and dress up, since he dressed up very untidily,” he said.

Naidoo claims to have taken Hardus out on occasion, but that he was never eager to socialise.

“Hardus felt that his parents treated him like a child — his mother took him to his senior prom because he could not find a girl to go with.”

Naidoo also described how he met Nicolette in Phoenix.

“She came to our church to be prayed for,” he said.

In an earlier testimony, she said she had been possessed by “black magic” and was seeking assistance to be exorcised at a church in Phoenix.

“My friend told me there was a white girl at his house who came to church earlier. I did not believe him,” he said.

“When I went there I saw her — my friend dared me to asked her to marry me, which I jokingly did and she was amused,” he said, adding that thereafter he started visiting the family in Westville and eventually lived with them.

“I told the Lotters that I wanted to marry Nicolette.

“They gave me their blessing, but said that I would have to stay with them until we are financially stable and able to move out,” he said.

Naidoo denied being at the house at the time of the murders and there were points of contradiction with previous testimony.

In describing his first encounter with the body of Magdelene Lotter, he pulled out a facecloth and appeared to dry his eyes.

The trial continues this morning.

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