On Monday Fred van der Vyver won his civil case against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for malicious prosecution for the murder of his girlfriend Inge Lotz. Steeped in Blood author David Klatzow and Fruit From a Poisoned Tree author Antony Altbeker, who have both written about the Lotz murder and the case against Van der Vyver in their respective books, were not surprised by the verdict and believe that the case against the police was sound.
Klatzow, who was also one of the advisers to the Van der Vyver family, told the Cape Times that the murder case against Van der Vyver was based on “shoddy police work”. In the Daily Maverick, Klatzow termed the police investigation a ““shambles”.
The three key pieces of evidence, Klatzow said, amounted to nothing: “They had falsified the (finger)prints, the “shoeprint” was not a shoeprint and the hammer was not the murder weapon.” Klatzow believes the problem lies with the forensic labs in South Africa:
IF FRED van der Vyver had not had the money to prove that the police had lied in his murder trial, he would be sitting in Pollsmoor Prison today, forensic expert David Klatzow said yesterday.
Because the parents of the young Cape Town actuary were able to pay nearly R10 million in legal fees and flying out expert witnesses to expose the police lies and dodgy evidence against him, Van der Vyver is a free man.
It was an emotional end to six years of court battles after Fred van der Vyver, now an actuarial assistant, was accused of murdering his girlfriend and fellow Stellenbosch student at the time, Inge Lotz.
Four years ago, he was acquitted of the murder, and on Monday, Cape High Court Judge Anton Veldhuizen found that there was no evidence to indicate that Van der Vyver had killed her. Veldhuizen ruled that Van der Vyver could continue with his civil claim against the police.
Altbeker took part in a discussion held by the organisation Students of Law and Social Justice, where he said that the Inge Lotz case highlights the problems in the South African judiciary and police. Read the report in Afrikaans:
Stellenbosch.– Die Inge Lotz-saak is ’n bewys dat daar ernstig fout is met die Suid-Afrikaanse regstelsel sowel as die polisie.
Die feit dat die staat in dié opspraakwekkende saak geweet het sekere bewyse is foutief en dat polisiebeamptes in die hof gelieg het, is ’n bewys dat gapings in die regstelsel en die polisie bestaan en dit moet aangespreek word, is gisteraand by ’n misdaadgesprek op die dorp gehoor.
- Steeped in Blood: The Life and Times of a Forensic Scientist by David Klatzow, Sylvia Walker
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