Naidoo ‘an arrogant liar and fraud’

2012-03-14 00:00

“YOU know how Mrs Riekie Lotter died, because you told her daughter how to stab her to death,” Judge Shyam Gayanda told Mathew Naidoo, shaking his finger and looking him straight in the eye yesterday.

The judge called Naidoo an arrogant, pathological liar and fraud who was after the Lotters’ money.

Naidoo (25) brainwashed his fiancée, Nicolette Lotter (29), and her brother, Hardus (23), into believing that he was the “third son of God” and that their “evil” parents had to be killed, Gayanda found.

The Durban high court’s A Court was jam-packed with journalists, relatives, members of the public and even a school debating team wanting to hear the outcome of the sensational trial.

Emotions see-sawed after Naidoo and the Lotters were found guilty of the murders of Johnnie Lotter (53) and his wife, Riekie (53) in July 2008.

Naidoo threw his jacket over his shoulder, waved at friends and family and walked to the court cells.

In the back of the court, Rita Naidoo, who had also been misled by her son, burst into tears while supporters prayed for her.

Nicolette was in tears as she hurried down the flight of stairs to the cells. Her brother smiled anxiously.

He said later he had been warned to expect a guilty verdict, despite testimony by Professor Lourens Schlebusch about their brainwashing.

“The extent to which they believed Naidoo to be the son of God is mitigating circumstances at most,” Gayanda said in his judgment.

Despite the brainwashing, Nicolette and Hardus Lotter realised it was wrong to murder their parents and they could have pulled out, the judge found.

But when the murder plan went awry, Nicolette took a Tazer from her brother and shocked her mother to immobilise her.

She also tried to inject air bubbles into her mother’s veins and phoned Naidoo for advice.

The murder plan went awry precisely because Hardus was unwilling to shock his mother into unconsciousness.

“It shows he was able to distinguish between right and wrong and act accordingly, but failed to do so,” said Gayanda.

He said Naidoo’s plan was for Hardus to take the blame for the murders, and he tried to protect Nicolette because it was only through her that he would be able to obtain access to the inheritance money.

The case was adjourned until Monday.

Weeping Hardus Lotter prays for mercy

HARDUS Lotter is praying that God will show him mercy and that Judge Shyam Gayanda may perhaps sentence him to corrective supervision.

Right: Hardus Lotter in tears as he speaks to family members after he and his sister Nicolette were convicted, with Mathew Naidoo, of killing their  parents in their Westville home in 2008.

Lotter, his sister Nicolette and her former fiancé, Mathew Naidoo, are expected to be sentenced next week after having been found guilty yesterday of murdering the Lotters’ parents, Johnnie (53) and Riekie (52).

“I know there are many people who hate me and I have come to terms with that.

“I also know there are many people who support me. My heart is right with Jesus Christ and I hope He will be merciful to me,” Hardus Lotter told The Witness’s sister paper Beeld after his conviction yesterday.

What he has been through in the past three years since his parents’ murder had brought him closer to God. “You’re trapped in a corner with no chance of escape. The only way out is upwards,” he said.

As a Christian he had forgiven Naidoo, who brainwashed him and his sister into believing that Naidoo was the son of God and that it was God’s will for his parents to die. But Naidoo maintained that he did not do it, as he sat a few metres away from Hardus and Nicolette Lotter in the witness stand during a court adjournment.

“I’m not going to pretend I’m not feeling hurt at the moment. We live in an evil world where horrible things happen,” he said.

Pastor Danny Israel testified in mitigation of sentence that Hardus Lotter was “trapped in an empty shell without any meaning to his life” when he met him shortly after the murders three years ago.

“He wept constantly and asked me at one stage whether he could do anything to bring his parents back.”

Israel said that Hardus was feeling caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. “He does not understand how the courts operate and is still expecting a measure of mercy from the court,” said Israel.

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