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“I’m no monster and I loved the Lotters like my own parents. They loved me like the son they never had in Hardus and I had no reason to want them dead.”
These are the words of convicted murderer Mathew Naidoo, the self-proclaimed third son of God, in an exclusive interview from prison this week.
As he spoke about his love for the Lotters and for Nicolette, who was, along with her brother Hardus, also convicted of the murders, Naidoo said he would take his sentence on appeal as he believed he had been given a “raw deal”.
Last month, Naidoo and the Lotter siblings were convicted of murdering their parents, Johan and Riekie Lotter, at their Westville home in July 2008. Naidoo was given two life sentences. Nicolette got an effective 12-year jail term and Hardus 10 years.
Naidoo said he deeply loved Nicolette, but their relationship began to sour after he got cold feet shortly before their planned wedding on August 7, 2007.
“I was 20 years old, didn’t have a stable job and was living with her parents, paying them R2 500 a month rent. I just didn’t feel ready. I was so young. But things were never the same again. She never forgave me for letting her down.
“Looking back, I thank the Lord he never allowed me to go through with it. But I don’t want to talk too much about Nikki. I just want to forget all about her,” he said.
Naidoo is bitter about his sentence and is quick now to lay the blame on Nicolette, saying she had a turbulent relationship with her mother and “hated her father with a vengeance” because he sometimes sided with his wife.
“She had every reason to kill them. She and her mother fought all the time and she didn’t like it when her father took Riekie’s side. She often spoke about wanting her mother dead… wishing they were gone forever.
“I was the victim in all of this and Nikki knew I loved her dearly and would have done anything for her… even give up my own life. I loved her with all that I was and every bit of my being, but she used me as a scapegoat,” said Naidoo.
Still settling into life in prison, Naidoo said being in prison proved more difficult than he expected as he still had to come to terms with the fact that he was going to be there for most of his life.
Holding a small blue Bible and a pamphlet that read “God is Love”, Naidoo is no doubt a smooth-talker. Glad at first that he had a visitor, he appeared confused when he realised I was not a familiar face. Hesitant to talk at first, he eventually agreed, saying “the other side” had to be told.
“I’m 25 now, but I know I will be free one day and get a chance at a normal life, and I will marry.
“This hasn’t set me back. I’m innocent and God will find a way to take me through this,” he said.
Naidoo recalled his first meeting with Nicolette. He said he and his friends were about to leave church when they told him of “a lovely white chick at church – and you like white chicks, so go meet her”.
“So I did. She wasn’t really my type, but she was stunning and classy. I was so taken aback by her that I immediately reached for a plastic pot-plant and proposed marriage to her. She slapped me and that just sealed the deal for me.
“All I could think about was that she was beautiful and had morals too,” he said, his eyes teary as he dabbed at them with a green facecloth.
Boasting about his previous relationships, Naidoo said he had always dated white women.
“They loved me. They kept giving me their numbers, even when I was with Nicolette, and that made her so insecure,” he said with a smile.
Still traumatised by the sight of the dead bodies of Johan and Riekie, Naidoo said he suffered nightmares and could not forget that night. - Niyanta Singh