Hardus Lotter ‘a religious obsessive’
A top psychologist says Hardus Lotter was a religious obsessive who didn’t have control of his actions when he killed his parents.
The Durban High Court has been hearing from Professor Lawrence Schlebusch in the Lotter murder trial.
He carried out assessments on the Lotter siblings last year.
The pair killed their parents at their Westville home in 2008, but say Nicolette’s ex-boyfriend, Mathew Naidoo, made them do it.
Schlebusch says the Lotter case may be unique in the world. He says Hardus does not have any serious mental or personality disorders, but his value system was completely broken down.
He has painted a picture of the 24-year-old, sitting today with slumped shoulders in the dock, as a generally gentle loner who was mockingly called a “tortoise” by his classmates.
Schlebusch says he believes Hardus was coerced over a period of time, and became hyper religious.
The professor says by the time Hardus attacked his mother and strangled his father, he believed he was doing it to save the world.
Schlebusch believes the case is similar to when charismatic leaders convince their followers to do things that they otherwise wouldn’t.
(Above: Lawrence Schlebusch at the Durban High Court today. Photo: Thrishni Subramoney)