It was Wednesday 16 March 2005, an ordinary day in the Boland. Brilliant Stellenbosch University student Inge Lotz said goodbye to her boyfriend, actuary Fred van der Vyver, at 8.15. He had to attend a class at the university.
The previous night, as he did every Tuesday night, he’d slept over at her flat, 21 Shiraz in Klein Welgevonden.
Read more: Prof Jan Lotz: 'Fred, I want answers'
When he said goodbye to her it was the last time he saw her alive. Inge’s body was found in her flat at 10.36 pm that night. Now, on the 11th anniversary of her murder, the question that still haunts her family is: Who brutally murdered their beautiful girl?
After a string of frustrating court cases, neither armchair detectives nor the authorities have been able to give the Lotz family closure. YOU takes a look at how events unfolded over the past 11 years:
16 March 2005
Inge Lotz’s bloodied body is found in her flat in Klein Welgevonden, Stellenbosch, by Christo Pretorius, a church friend of Marius Botha, Fred’s flatmate.
15 April 2005
Fred takes an ornamental hammer, a gift from Inge’s parents, from his bakkie and hands it over to the police.
15 June 2005
It becomes known that the police want to prosecute Fred for Inge’s murder and he hands himself over to them at the Cloetesville police station in Stellenbosch.
16 September 2005
The murder case against Fred is postponed for more than a year.
Read more: Fred van der Vyfer’s father sued for outstanding fees: report
Fingerprint experts disagree over whether Fred’s fingerprint was lifted from a DVD container (Inge had taken out the DVD at 3.15 pm) or a glass. Fred’s team say the police are purposely trying to mislead them about the fingerprint, but their attempts to have the murder case removed from the roll fails.
The murder case begins in the Western Cape High Court.
Judge Deon van Zyl acquits Fred of Inge’s murder and in his judgement he rejects the state’s evidence on the blood stain on the bathroom floor, the ornamental hammer and the fingerprint on the DVD container.
Inge’s parents drop a civil claim of R8,5 million that they’d wanted to bring against Fred.
Judge Anton Veldhuizen finds in a civil case that the police had indeed maliciously prosecuted Fred and awarded damages of R46 million.
The minister of police is given leave to appeal against Fred’s successful claim of malicious prosecution.
Read more: Fred van der Vyver vindicated
Inge’s parents, Professor Jan and Juanita Lotz, offer a R1 million reward to anyone with information that will help solve the murder. They also appoint master detective Piet Byleveld to further investigate the matter.
The state succeeds in its appeal to have the verdict that Fred had been maliciously prosecuted set aside. Fred’s legal representative, Advocate Dup de Bruyn, indicates that they will turn to the Constitutional Court.
The Constitutional Court turns down Fred’s application to appeal against the Appeal Court’s finding.
Professor Jan Lotz terminates Piet Byleveld’s mandate to investigate Inge’s murder.
Jan asks the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) to reopen the murder case against Fred after physicist Professor Kobus Visser says in a report that Fred’s fingerprint was indeed lifted from a flat surface. “People tell me I should close the book and get on with my life, but how can I close a book I don’t understand?” Jan says of his struggle to come to terms with his daughter’s unsolved murder.
In the same month Fred turns to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in an attempt to obtain damages for his prosecution. The commission turned down his application.
6 December 2013
The NDPP lets Jan know that they won’t reopen the case against Fred.