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03 Feb 2009 14:53
A Durban man described by his co-accused as the “Son of God” on Tuesday made another application for bail in the Pinetown Regional Court on what the defence described as “new facts”.
Matthew Naidoo in his affidavit said the “prolonged and unnecessary delay in finalising the investigations” would prejudice him as he would be incarcerated for up to 18 months until the trial could start.
The 22-year-old said the conditions at Westville Prison were “appalling” and dangerous, and he felt unsafe.
“I submit that my rights to my dignity are being infringed ... at Westville Prison ...
I am in constant fear of my life.”
He stood in the dock alongside his co-accused and former girlfriend, 26-year-old Nicolette Lotter and her brother Hardus, 20.
The trio are accused of murdering the siblings’ parents, Johannes and Magdalena Lotter, in their Westville, Durban home last year.
Naidoo said attempts to be put in complete isolation while in prison had failed.
Isolation meant sharing a cell with at least 45 other people.
“There is massive overcrowding.
He alleged that three people were killed in the prison on January 21, and eight others hospitalised for serious injuries.
During his six-and-a-half months in custody, he said there had been a delay for a psychologist’s evaluation.
“I believe that in order to be evaluated, the state psychologist would require a period of approximately three months. The state has furnished no reasons for the delay.”
He further argued that in his initial bail application, the state did not establish exceptional circumstances that on his release on bail he would “disturb the public order or undermine the public peace or security”.
He said the crime for which he was charged did not fall under “the ambit of this provision”.
Such circumstances, said Naidoo, would apply to charges of public violence, gang warfare and political intolerance.
State prosecutor Jan Buitendag said the defence had supplied “no new facts at all. This court has listened to the same facts on previous occasions and found no reason for accused three to be released on bail.
“It is my submission that the applicant is not prejudiced. It will not take up to 18 months for the trial to proceed. It will be 10 to 11 months,” said Buitendag.
He argued that house arrest meant nothing if there was no one to watch over Naidoo.
“He [Naidoo] says this is a fixed address, but he still left that house to go and live with his girlfriend. So who is going to control him under house arrest?”
Investigating officer Constable Shane Naidoo, he said, was not available all the time as he had other cases to deal with.—Sapa
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