Religion News Blog — Mathew Naidoo, a man who manipulated his former girlfriend and her brother to murder their parents, has been received a double life sentence for his part in the crime.
His former girlfriend Nicolette Lotter was sentenced to 12 years in jail, and her brother Hardus to 10 years imprisonment.
During the trial the two told the court that Matthew Naidoo put them up to the murders.
Nicolette said Naidoo had told them he was the “third son of God… that he had an angel and demon in him and that he was a vessel of God through which angel and demons could speak. “We believed Naidoo hook, line and sinker,” Nicolette said.
Clinical psychologist Laurens Schlebusch testified that the Lotters had been under Naidoo’s “powerful spell.”
Nicolette and Hardus brutally murdered their parents in their Westville home in July 2008.
Nicolette stabbed her mother in the neck and chest and Hardus strangled his father with an electrical cord.
Both parents put up a fight before they finally succumbed to the plan engineered by their own children and Naidoo.
Soon after the trio was arrested, the siblings made full confessions, in written statements, regarding their involvement in the crimes.
They told police that Naidoo, whom they believed to be the son of God, was the mastermind of the murder plot.
They maintained, throughout the trial, that they believed what they were doing was right in order to save their souls and follow the will of God.
Naidoo told the siblings that their parents stood in the way of God’s work and needed to be eliminated.
In his judgment, Gyanda tore into Naidoo labelling him a “pathological liar” and “con artist”.
Gyanda said Naidoo’s plot to kill the parents of his girlfriend at the time, Nicolette, began with Johan’s refusal to accept Naidoo.
Gyanda said, on July 18, 2008, Naidoo slapped the siblings and told them to come up with a plan to kill their parents.
When they could not, he outlined the plot and made a shopping list of syringes, rubber gloves, a Taser and cable ties which were later recovered by police and identified as instruments used in the murders.
At yesterday’s sentencing hearing Guanda said the Lotters acted with diminished responsibility when they murdered their parents.
“I can’t envisage how two normal people from a middle class home could go about executing their parents… but for that influence,” he said in sentencing them.
29-year-old Nicolette Lotter was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for each of the murders, the sentences to run concurrently. She will be eligible for parole in 10 years.
Hardus, 23, was jailed for 10 years on each count, also to run concurrently. He would be eligible for parole in six years.
Times Live says Mathew Naidoo has instructed his attorney to appeal his double life sentence. The attorney told the paper Naidoo was upset that he had received a “worse sentence” than his former girlfriend and her brother.
However, National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga described the sentences as appropriate.
“We… accept that Naidoo had manipulated the two in committing these crimes, hence the disparity in sentences.”
Gyanda said there was enough evidence to confirm that the Lotter siblings had been influenced by Naidoo to the extent they claimed.
He said Naidoo’s assault on Nicolette had been of a sexual nature and that evidence that he forced her to drink his urine had been undisputed.
“And if she could stoop to such low levels to obey him, it follows she did exactly what he wanted just to please him,” said Gyanda.
The Lotters had testified that Naidoo told them he was the third son of God and that God wanted their parents dead for their sins.
The original plot had been to taser the Lotters’ parents to knock them out then inject them with airbubbles to bring about heart attacks.
When that went wrong, Naidoo had told Nicolette to stab her mother and Hardus to strangle his father.
The judge said that if analysed, the entire case indicated that Naidoo was a cunning, conniving man who aimed to harm the Lotter family.
He had stolen money from them and had sent them threatening letters and cellphone messages.