Lotter case: Naidoo gets R20 000 bail

2009-02-18 00:00

Mathew Naidoo, the man who allegedly helped two Westville siblings to kill their parents, was granted R20 000 bail by a Pinetown regional magistrate yesterday.

It was Naidoo's second bail application after the first application was denied by magistrate Yugan Naidu last year.

Naidoo allegedly helped Nicolette (26) and her younger brother Hardus Lotter to kill their parents Madalena and Johan at their Westville home in July 2008.

Lotter was the head of the Bayer/Lanxess chemical plant in Merebank and was well known in Westville where the couple lived for 18 years.

Magdalena was bound and stabbed repeatedly. Johan was strangled with a cable.

Naidoo listened intently to the magistrate's judgment and broke into a smile when the bail was granted. He immediately turned to his tearful mother, Yogasundrie, and other family members in the gallery and threw his arms in the air. He was then told to calm down by court officials.

During the proceedings, officer Kubendran Naidoo was called to testify and told the court that he had met with officials from Westville Prison to discuss Mathew's prison cell conditions.

He said Mathew was detained in the "protection section" of the Westville Prison, a special facility for inmates deemed "vulnerable" -Êincluding police members, military and security guards.

He said that if any inmate placed in the protection section was violent, they would be sent back to the normal cells.

"There is a system in place for complaints and formal requests. There have been no formal requests or complaints." he said.

During the cross examination, Mathew's lawyer, Rajendra Nathalall, asked Naidoo if he knew about the overcrowding in Mathew's prison cell.

Naidoo said he could not comment, but he knew overcrowding is a problem in South Africa's prisons.

He told the court that no reports of assault or intimidation against Mathew have been opened, adding that he is being kept in the one of the "most secure" sections in the prison.

Advocate Rea Mina, of the Director of Public Prosecutions office, appeared for the state and told the court that Mathew faces life imprisonment and there is nothing to stop him from fleeing the country to avoid the trial.

In his judgment, Naidu said he took into account that the case could be delayed for several months, which would prejudice Mathew.

He granted bail on condition that Mathew lives at his mother's house in Phoenix, reports to the Phoenix police station five times a week and does not have any contact with the Lotter siblings.

Outside the courtroom, Mathew's mother burst into tears as she spoke to family members. She said she is "extremely happy" that her son will be home soon and will try to secure the bail money so Mathew can be released.

The case has been adjourned to March 6.

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