Judge Shyam Gyanda, who presided with two assessors in the Lotter trial, surprised many with his sentence.

He jailed the mastermind Mathew Naidoo for life for the July 19, 2008, murder of Magdalena Lotter and her husband Johannes.

Judge Gyanda described Naidoo as a cunning and conniving individual. He had a plan for the Lotters and carried it out, said Judge Gyanda.

But the judge showed mercy on the Lotters siblings Nicolette (Naidoo’s ex-girlfriend) and her brother Hardus.

He imposed a 12-year and 10-year sentence respectively with the proviso that they serve six years before they are considered for parole.