- Inge Lotz, a Stellenbosch University student, was murdered in her apartment in 2005.
- Police immediately zoned in on her boyfriend, Fred van der Vyver.
- Investigators believed somebody close to her had killed her because of the excessive force used in her murder.
University of Stellenbosch student Inge Lotz was brutally bludgeoned and stabbed in her apartment in the Welgevonden Estate on 16 March 2005. She was 22 years old, cut down in the prime of her life.
Her boyfriend, Fred van der Vyver, was arrested for the crime three months later but vehemently denied any involvement. The case against him was based on forensic evidence, and he was convicted mainly in the court of public opinion.
In this, the first episode of The Inge Lotz Story: A Miscarriage of Justice, a six-part podcast series brought to you by News24, producers Matthew Brown and Catherine Rice delve into her murder 16 years ago.
They explore what happened on that hot and humid day in March 2005.
The smiling and beautiful Lotz adorned the front cover of every newspaper across the country for months after her death, and in the public's mind, as each new piece of evidence surfaced, it was clear that just one man could have done it, the man closest to her.
The young couple had met at university, where they were both studying actuarial science. The pair made a striking couple. Lotz had a broad smile and an infectious laugh. Friends described her as vivacious, her beauty a magnet for male admirers.
Van der Vyver was handsome and quietly confident. They sat next to each other in class, and although they had been dating for less than a year, an engagement was imminent.
On top of his studies, he had already started working at Old Mutual, an insurance company in Pinelands, Cape Town.
When the two weren't together, they exchanged love letters and text messages frequently. Both came from Afrikaans families. Lotz was an only child and Van der Vyver was the youngest of three boys.
But, this is not a romance story that turns deadly, as happens in South Africa all too often.
It's a story far more complicated. Podcast producer Brown spent years tracking down the key figures in this case in a bid to unravel the truth. Travelling as far afield as the United States, Brown's interviews with international forensic experts revealed the flaws in the investigation.
Together he and co-producer Catherine Rice sift through the complexities of the case in a bid to separate fact from fiction.
To read more and listen to our full series, click here: The Inge Lotz Story: A Miscarriage of Justice
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