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11 Nov 2008 14:19
A 22-year-old man accused of helping his girlfriend and her brother to murder her parents was denied bail in the Pinetown Regional Court on Tuesday.
Matthew Naidoo, who is accused along with girlfriend Nicolette Lotter (26) and her brother, Hardus (20), of murdering the Lotter parents, was denied bail by magistrate Yugan Naidu.
Naidu told a court packed with journalists and members of Naidoo’s family: “I’m not sure the present circumstances show the applicant should be released on bail. I refuse the application.”
Johannes and Magdalena Lotter were murdered in their home in Durban’s Westville suburb on July 19.
Naidu said Naidoo’s mother, Yogasundrie Naidoo, had been an honest witness, but despite her testimony there were no exceptional circumstances showing why her son should be released on bail.
He ordered that Naidoo remain in custody along with the Lotter siblings.
The case was postponed to December 4 to allow further investigation.
Earlier, the court heard that a signed petition in support of Naidoo’s bail application had several names signed by the same person, and some of the people on the petition denied ever having signed it.
State prosecutor Jan Buitendag said that several of the signatures on the five-page petition in support of bail being granted to Naidoo were from the same person.
“It doesn’t need a handwriting expert to see those names have been entered by the same person.
It is my submission that the petition is not worth the paper it has been written on,” he said.
Buitendag said that he had selected five numbers from the petition randomly and called the people.
He said another two people denied ever having signed the petition, while one person did not exist and another name was not answered.
“The applicant [Naidoo] cannot claim to have the support of these people,” said Buitendag.
Buitendag told a packed courtroom that the onus was on Naidoo to prove that there were exceptional circumstances for him to be granted bail.
Asked by Naidu why Naidoo would be a flight risk when he did not have any documents, Buitendag said: “It is not necessary to have travel documents to flee this country.”—Sapa
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