Nicolette Lotter went on the warpath on Monday, claiming that the mother of her co-accused and former boyfriend, Mathew Naidoo, was behind the plot to murder her parents, “so that she could be rich”.
Nicolette, who turns 30 next month, is standing trial in the Durban High Court – along with her brother, Hardus, 23, and Naidoo, 25 – for the murders of Johan and Rickie Lotter at their Westville home in July 2008.
While the siblings admit they committed the murders, both say they were under the influence of Naidoo, who “psychologically brainwashed” and physically abused them, claiming to be the son of God – or sometimes angels and demons – and that God wanted their parents dead.
Naidoo denies that and having anything to do with the murders.
Nicolette said at the resumption of the trial on Monday: “He (Naidoo) poisoned our minds. I feel dreadful… they (her parents) never deserved this. It was because of greed. And I suspect his mother (Rita Naidoo) is the one behind it. He was 21, she was 41,” she said, referring to the fact that Rita was a single parent, earning very little.
“Who would listen to who? She could have told him to do this, then she would be rich.”
Earlier, Nicolette referred to a statement Rita Naidoo made to the police, in which she alleged that Nicolette had “always said she would kill her parents”.
Nicolette denied that, questioning why, if it were true, Rita had not phoned the police or her parents to warn them.
“If that was the case, she could have stopped this murder from happening.”
She claimed she had realised through prayer that Rita was “most certainly involved because she was going to benefit financially”.
Unlike Hardus, who had howled when he told Judge Shyam Gyanda how he and Nicolette had committed the murders, Nicolette was more restrained. Her voice broke, but she remained composed during her evidence.
She explained how, the day before the murders, Naidoo had told them to get on their knees and pray. “In the voice of God he said my parents had been judged and were being condemned to death. The angel of justice, James, then confirmed this, as did the son of God, Mathius.”
She said Naidoo instructed that they murder their parents the following day and came up with the plan that they should be immobilised with a stun gun, tied up and then injected with air bubbles which would kill them. She said she had been “relieved they would not feel pain”.
“It’s not like we wanted them to die, but we couldn’t argue with God. If we knew he was lying about God, this would never have happened… I would not have killed in my life.”
She said only Naidoo had spoken about the money they would inherit, saying he would take it all because he was entitled to it.
But things did not go according to plan – Hardus did not shock his mother, but turned on the torch on the stun gun instead.
“That’s when the struggle started,” said Nicolette, describing a sustained attack which ended when Naidoo told her to get a knife and stab her mother “here, here and here”, she said, pointing to three points on her neck.
She claimed Naidoo – whom she fetched from the Pavilion shopping centre at one stage – had made her repeatedly return to the kitchen to ensure her mother was dead, and each time she had stabbed her again.
“He then stood next to the body and said ‘good riddance to the bitch’.”
Naidoo then allegedly instructed Hardus to strangle her father and they left the house to go back to the Pavilion.
While there, she said, Naidoo behaved strangely, “like he had no heart”.
“His eyes were pitch black. I asked him how he could be so strong, and he said it was because he was not human.”
Nicolette said she loved her parents and wished she could have them back and spare her family the pain she had caused.
The trial continues on Tuesday. - The Mercury