Lotz 'murderer's' alibi 'not watertight'

By Lenore Oliver Time of article published Oct 11, 2006

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Murder accused Fred van der Vyver's alibi for the day on which his girlfriend was murdered includes video footage and cellphone and computer records that place him at his place of work in Pinelands.

Van der Vyver is to stand trial in the Cape High Court for the brutal murder of Stellenbosch student Inge Lotz in March last year.

In his plea explanation, Van der Vyver systematically details his whereabouts on the fateful day on which his girlfriend was bludgeoned on the head with a blunt object and stabbed in her neck and chest several times.

The state says Van der Vyver is Lotz's killer and that he has been linked to her death by a fingerprint and a shoeprint found on the scene.

Van der Vyver claims this is fabricated.

But the state says the actuary assistant's alibi has been tested and "proved not to be watertight".

In his plea explanation, Van der Vyver says CCTV footage, as well as the electronic turnstile readings at the entrances and exits at his workplace at Old Mutual in Pinelands, prove he could not have committed the murder.

He says cellphone calls received and made during the day are also shown to have registered with a cellphone mast in Pinelands.

Van der Vyver says he spent the night of March 15 (the day before the murder) with Lotz at her flat in Stellenbosch and that he left to go to classes at the University of Stellenbosch at 7.45am the next morning.

He met her outside his class at 10am, when she gave him a note and walked with him to his car. Van der Vyver says this is the last time he saw his girlfriend.

He then drove to a furniture store in Stellenbosch to fetch a cupboard before going back to work, where he spent the rest of the day.

Van der Vyver says several colleagues as well as his immediate superior can attest to the fact that he attended the workshop and that a security camera caught him on tape arriving at work.

An electronic turnstile also confirms this, he says.

Van der Vyver also says several calls and SMSes to Lotz were registered on the Pinelands cellphone mast.

He says he left work just after 6pm - which the security camera also picked up - before he and a friend dropped the cupboard at another friend's place in the complex where he lives.

Van der Vyver says that, after dropping off the cupboard, he and the friend returned to his vehicle to find his wheel clamped.

He says a security official at the complex can confirm that he was at the complex because the guard unclamped the wheel.

At 8.11pm he tried to contact Lotz for the first time after seeing her that morning. He tried several times and phoned her mother at 10pm, who also could not get hold of her.

"I deny that after 10.30pm that morning I spent any time in Stellenbosch. My alibi was given to police the morning after the murder," he says.

Van der Vyver has asked to be allowed his day in court so he can prove his innocence.

"I want to stress that the deceased was my girlfriend and a person whom I loved dearly.

"I want to unequivocally stress that I am innocent of this crime and have always maintained my innocence," he said.

Van der Vyver is out on bail of R10 000. His trial was postponed to February 12.

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