'Third son of God' Mathew Naidoo wants double murder case reviewed
Durban - The self-professed “Third son of God” Mathew Naidoo is seeking redemption and has vowed to campaign for the reform of the judiciary.
He wants the courts to determine if he was treated fairly when he was handed two life terms for the murders of Riekie and Johan Lotter in 2008.
Naidoo, who is serving time in a Limpopo prison, was not at the Lotter residence on the night that Nicolette and Hardus Lotter killed their parents.
However, the Durban High Court ruled that he was the mastermind behind the killings and stood to benefit from the couple’s wealth through his relationship with their daughter.
Naidoo told the Sunday Tribune that he wanted a judicial review of the trial proceedings to determine if Judge Shyam Gyanda had violated his rights to a fair trial.
“I feel that the judge took a sympathetic approach towards my co-accused and an aggressive approach towards me,” he said.
Naidoo, who is from a poor family in Phoenix, Durban, moved into the Lotter’s lavish residence after he started dating Nicolette.
He told the Sunday Tribune that given that he was not at home on the night of the murder, it was unfair that Nicolette and Hardus “were free”, but he would languish in jail for years.
“The rich have access to the courts and the poor don’t. The judiciary is failing the poor and I want to ensure that it is reformed,” he said.
Last year, Hardus was released from jail and placed under house arrest which is overseen by a pastor. The 10-year prison sentence he was given will come to an end next year.
Nicolette, who broke up with Naidoo after the murders, married in prison last year and will be eligible for parole next year. She received 12 years for killing her parents.
During the murder trial the court heard that Naidoo had pushed the siblings to kill their parents and even encouraged Hardus to commit suicide after the double murder. The court also heard that Nicolette would then have leaned on him heavily for support and in turn Naidoo would have had access to the Lotters’ properties, cars, boat and their money. Nicolette also told the court that they believed that God spoke through Naidoo and he had told them he was the son of God.
Dr Nirmala Gopal, a criminologist based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said: “Even though public perception of the judicial system is poor, my view is that Naidoo is seeking someone else to blame which is part of his manipulative nature. He appears to have psychopathic tendencies. These people are able to manipulate vulnerable persons.”
She said Naidoo had used religion to win over the Lotter siblings and had confused them about their parents’ love and loyalty.
Gopal said he had done this over a period of time which, again, was a typical psychopathic characteristic.
“In his mind he is innocent. He cannot publicly or privately display any sign of weakness. From a criminological perspective this behaviour is not unusual. He is getting attention which is something he is perpetually seeking. He must still show he is macho. He will strike again.”
Department of Justice spokesperson Chrispin Phiri yesterday emphasised that parole did not mean that you were free. “Parole means you are still the property of the state.”
He said if (Naidoo) was unhappy, “the best thing for him to do is to consult his lawyer”.
Phiri said there were court rules which stipulated the measures people could take if they wanted to challenge the court or rulings of the court. However, in most cases there were stipulated time frames in which this had to be done and Naidoo seemed to have missed those deadlines.
Meanwhile, Gopal said she didn’t think Naidoo should be entitled to early parole or a review of his case. It was also unlikely the siblings would commit similar crimes in the future.
“Naidoo was the mastermind. However, it depends on the type of support they will get outside. Hopefully, they have been effectively rehabilitated.”