Lotter regrets rift with sister after parents’ killing

2011-03-21 00:00

MURDER accused Nicolette Lotter claims she never wanted her parents to die.

Speaking in an interview with the Sunday Tribune, she said she loved her parents deeply and misses them very much.

The 26-year-old, her former boyfriend, Mathew Naidoo (21), and her brother, Hardus (20), are on trial for the murders of Johnny Lotter (53) and his wife Riekie (52) in their Westville home in July 2008. Riekie was stabbed to death and Johnny strangled.

In the interview, which took place at Westville Prison’s awaiting trial facility, Lotter said memories of her childhood, and in particular of going deep-sea fishing with her father, as well as memories of her late mother, had helped her through some of the toughest times in prison.

She also said she wishes she had had nothing to do with Naidoo and that she regrets not being able to do more for her younger brother, Hardus, whom she describes as “the softest, sweetest, boy”.

Lotter is also disturbed by the estrangement between herself and Hardus and their sister, Christelle, who was at university in Stellenbosch when the murders occurred.

She says in the interview that she has tried to make contact with Christelle, without success. She now hopes that when her sister hears their defence it will prompt her to get in touch.

As for what life is like behind bars, Lotter said she has been targeted by lesbians, that she was recently attacked by a fellow inmate, and that she fears more assaults in the run-up to the start of the trial on October 24.

Lotter, who shares a cell with two other women, has also found the loss of privacy difficult to deal with, and reveals that aside from watching television, inmates have very little to do.

The interview comes just days after Lotter objected to the appointment of Bert Laing as her lawyer, a decision made at short notice after her advocate, Theuns Botha, who is currently involved in a trial in Pongola, could not get to Durban.

Lotter argued in the high court in Durban on Wednesday that her trial would not be fair because Laing and the judge, KwaZulu-Natal Deputy Judge President, Chiman Patel, are “good friends” and that Laing has told her she must tell the court she was possessed by a demon.

Patel, who was apparently Laing’s lecturer 30 years ago, said that in the light of Lotter’s allegations, it would be better for Laing to withdraw, but he warned Lotter that she will have to conduct her own defence if she delays proceedings again on the matter of legal representation.

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