Mathew Naidoo ‘would prefer death to life sentence’

Mathew Naidoo says he has been unfairly sentenced and that his appeal against his sentence was ‘fraudulently’ dismissed. | VIVIAN ATTWOOD

Mathew Naidoo says he has been unfairly sentenced and that his appeal against his sentence was ‘fraudulently’ dismissed. | VIVIAN ATTWOOD

Published Apr 1, 2024


Durban — Mathew Naidoo, the alleged mastermind behind the deaths of a Westville couple, says he wants to die.

Naidoo, who is serving two life terms for killing Riekie and Johan Lotter in 2008, says it’s sheer torture watching his co-accused live their lives freely while he has to pay the price.

The Lotter’s children, Hardus and Nicolette, were also found guilty of their parents’ murders and sentenced to 10 and 12 years respectively in 2012. Both were granted parole and are out of prison. Naidoo will be eligible for parole after serving a minimum of 25 years in jail.

“If the death penalty was an option for me, I would take it; it would end my suffering,” he said.

Naidoo spoke to the Sunday Tribune from a phone booth at his jail in Limpopo where he apparently used the last remaining cents on his phone card to reach out and plead for help.

He said he had been unfairly sentenced and that his appeal against his sentence was “fraudulently” dismissed.

Naidoo said that being in prison, where he had no access to resources to fight his case, like computers, email and telephones, made him despondent. At times, he felt it would be better to die.

He appealed to the Sunday Tribune to contact various organisations and people he thought might be able to help him find justice.

One is the non-profit organisation AfriForum. Its website says it was “created to call up Afrikaners to participate in public debate and actions outside of the sphere of party politics”.

Naidoo also asked for the Sunday Tribune to take his case to Glynnis Breytenbach, a former prosecutor with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and current DA member of Parliament.

He said he had also sent documents to retired Judge Edwin Cameron, who is currently the head of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS), to prove that his case needed revisiting.

He said no one was prepared to help him.

“Every day, I’m suffering. Every day, I’ve got to watch my co-accused live their lives. They murdered the people and I’m actually the one paying the price. I can't continue like this. I'd really like to die.” he said.

The Lotter murder case grabbed the attention of the nation as bizarre details unfolded in court: tales of bewitchment, tokoloshe, angels, biblical verses and Naidoo who identified himself as the third son of God.

At the time of the murders, Naidoo was Nicolette’s boyfriend and had moved into their lavish home in Westville.

When police arrived at the scene of the murders in the Thames Place house in July 2008, all the accused were there.

Their father, Johan Lotter, was found naked in the house’s passage.

From their investigation, the detectives believed that he was assaulted and strangled with an electrical cord while lying in bed and then dragged to the passage.

His wife, Riekie, a teacher, was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and body and was shocked with a stun gun before a cellphone charger cord was wrapped around her arm. Police found her body in the kitchen.

At the time, Hardus told the police that two men in balaclavas had pulled up in a blue VW, entered the house and assaulted him before locking him in his room and then killing his parents.

Nicolette told the police she had been at The Pavilion shopping centre. When she got home, she found her parents dead and her brother locked in his bedroom.

Before Naidoo reached out to us, the Sunday Tribune came into possession of documents which he said had been emailed to Judge Cameron via the prison authorities. In the letter, he asks the judge to look into a “fake court order” which he says had blocked his right to appeal against his sentence. Naidoo also alleges that in 2013, someone went to court on his behalf without his knowledge.

“In summary, I’ve been complaining about an appeal filed, heard and dismissed – all without me being aware of it – in the Durban High Court,” he writes.

He said the “fake court order”, which had emanated from that hearing, had been attached to a report sent to him by the Office of the Public Protector in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the “fake” hearing in the Durban High Court on December 9, 2013, Justice Shyam Gyanda denied Naidoo leave to appeal against his sentence.

When contacted for comment, Chrispin Phiri, the spokesperson for Justice and Correctional Services, said: “Having read the record, it is clear that the letter from Legal Aid South Africa and the Public Protector of South Africa provide a clear explanation to Mr Naidoo.”

Sunday Tribune