Lotter murders: Concern over trial by media
A lawyer representing siblings accused of killing their parents told the Pinetown Regional Court he was concerned that his clients would be subjected to “a huge trial by media”.
Danie Grundling, the attorney for 26-year-old Nicolette and 20-year-old Hardus Lotter, said: “The defence is concerned about a fair trial. At the moment there is a huge trial by media.”
Grundling raised his concerns moments before magistrate Corel Language postponed the case to August 14 to wait for psychologists’ reports on the Lotters.
Thiagaraj Pillay, lawyer for the third accused, Mathew Naidoo, told the court that he agreed with Grundling and had the same reservations.
The Lotters and Naidoo (21) are accused of murdering Johan Lotter (53) and his wife, Magdelena (52), in their Westville home on July 19.
Language accepted Grundling’s concerns, but also informed him that the Constitution guaranteed press freedom.
Language ordered that the Lotter siblings would remain in custody in the Westville police cells and Moodley would remain in the Cator Manor police cells until their next appearance.
The court was packed with media, police as well as family.
Language refused requests from both television and print media for pictures to be taken of the accused.
Johan Lotter was the head of the Bayer/Lanxess chemical plant situated in Durban’s Merebank industrial area. He was bludgeoned and then strangled, while Magdelena was stabbed several times.—Sapa.