Naidoo changes plea in Lotter case
THE high-profile murder trial of a Westville, Durban, couple took a dramatic turn yesterday when the reputed "mastermind", Mathew Naidoo, changed his plea to guilty.
This followed a torrid session and cross-examination by Roland Parsotham, the lawyer acting for co-accused Hardus Lotter, son of the murdered husband and wife.
During a lengthy adjournment, Naidoo, 25, consulted an independent lawyer not associated with the murder trial.
When proceedings resumed, he took the stand to say that he was now pleading guilty.
"I am involved in this crime ... I want to completely confess to this crime," he said.
Naidoo will now be kept in the Westville Correctional Services facility.
He asked the Durban High Court if he could be isolated from the other prisoners as the case was high profile.
Judge Shyim Ganda told him that he had no control over the prison authorities but said he would ask if Naidoo could be kept in a safe place.
The court adjourned to allow Naidoo's lawyer, Vijay Sivakumoor, prepare a detailed statement from Naidoo to be read into the court record.
Naidoo, Hardus and his sister Nicolette Lotter stand accused of murdering their parents, Maria Magdalena "Riekie" Lotter, 52, and her husband, Johannes Petrus Lotter, 53, on July 19 2008.
The Lotter siblings contend that Naidoo was the mastermind behind the plot to kill their parents, that he told them he was the third son of God and that God wanted the Lotter couple dead.