Cape Town - Several legal experts and investigators in the Inge Lotz murder case, including legendary detective Piet Byleveld, have firmly distanced themselves from two amateur investigators whose theories are scheduled to be broadcast on MNet’s Carte Blanche programme on Sunday night.
This comes amid a flurry of accusations of fraud, lies and defamation and a series of mysterious burglaries at the offices and homes of professionals linked to the case.
Inge Lotz was murdered in Stellenbosch in 2005. Her body was found with at least 50 wounds, including serious head injuries, but her murder remains unsolved.
Two amateur investigators, Thomas and Calvin Mollett, recently contacted key witnesses who had testified on behalf of Lotz’s former boyfriend, Fred van der Vyver,
who was acquitted at the end of a high-profile court case.
Van der Vyver is involved in a R47 million damages claim against the State for wrongful prosecution. The Cape High Court found the State liable, but the case is heading for a showdown when it goes on appeal in March in Bloemfontein.
The Molletts have complained to the International Association of Identification (IAI) in Los Angeles, US, that it was “undisputed” that Van der Vyver’s fingerprints linked him to the crime, despite this being rejected in the Cape High Court.
They initially made this complaint using the names Henry and John McAlpine but later changed their names to Thomas and Calvin Mollett, a move that smacked of dishonesty, according to local forensic analyst Dr David Klatzow, who worked on the Lotz case.
“The Molletts are committing fraud. They signed to the association as McAlpines. They are threatening people,” said Klatzow.
Van der Vyver’s defence advocates have submitted arguments to the International Association of Identification saying the Molletts were “deceitful”, “fraudulent” and were “telling blatant lies” that were “grossly defamatory”.
The Molletts have also sent witnesses in the case messages such as: “The end of the lies is nigh. Those who come forward and redeem themselves will be better off than those who don’t. No threat. A factual promise.”
Meanwhile a series of crimes have troubled professionals working on the Lotz case.
* Thieves stole laptop computers and equipment from Van der Vyver’s advocates, Dup De Bruyn and Barry Pienaar, from the lawyers’ Port Elizabeth offices in March.
* A few months ago, a robber tried to steal the laptop of a forensic expert involved in the case from his Cape Town home.
* On Tuesday thieves broke into Pienaar’s security complex apartment in PE and cut his electrical wires before being chased away.
Meanwhile Byleveld said of the amateur investigators’ probe: “I deal with facts. I don’t keep busy with perceptions and I don’t rely on hearsay. I don’t have a clue who they (the Molletts) are and I don’t want to know. I am investigating in my own way and I work on facts, not stories and tales.” He said he was investigating friends of Lotz and Van der Vyver.
Last week, Weekend Argus published details of a secret group, the Wolverines, whose members had been close to Lotz and Van der Vyver and had sent each other e-mail messages with homosexual and bisexual undertones. The person who uncovered the e-mails believes a member had been in love with Van der Vyver.
One of the main police investigators on the Lotz case, who may not be named because of police protocol, said he had not heard of the Molletts and they were on the wrong track.
“Fred should never have been arrested. He was working at Old Mutual at the time.”
Thomas Mollet said in an e-mail sent to Weekend Argus yesterday afternoon that they had compiled a report of over 500 pages involving the forensic evidence in the case.
He said they had used a different identity before because of safety concerns. He denied threatening witnesses.