Durban brother and sister Hardus and Nicolette Lotter, who made a brief court appearance on Wednesday charged with the murder of their parents, had been part of a religious sect and had been influenced by Nicolette’s boyfriend and co-accused, Mathew Naidoo, who had claimed he was “God’s messenger”, sources close to the investigation said on Wednesday.
Hardus, who is 20 and a second-year IT student at Varsity College, his sister Nicolette, 26, a waitress, and Naidoo, 21, of Phoenix, were arrested soon after police were summoned to the Lotters’ Thames Drive, Westville, home on Saturday night.
Hardus allegedly told police he had been accosted by two balaclava-clad men who had taken his cellphone and locked him in his bedroom. Nicolette claimed she had come home later and discovered the bodies of her slain parents.
Johan Lotter, 53, head of the Lanxess chemical plant, had apparently been strangled.
His wife, Magdelena “Riekie”, a teacher at Grosvenor High, had been stabbed several times.
After questioning the siblings and Naidoo, police arrested them and charged them with murder.
A source close to the investigation said it was believed the three had conspired to kill the Lotters and had made previous attempts to murder them, including spiking Mr Lotter’s drink with poison. The siblings claimed to have been under the influence of Naidoo who had told them he was “God’s messenger” and “the Third Son of God”, and that he had received a message that they should kill their parents.
It is also believed that before the murders, Johan and Riekie Lotter had received several anonymous death threats that contained messages from the Bible. Johan Lotter had approached a private investigator and the police for assistance, and had laid charges of intimidation.