Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Turn of events in student murder case

By Tarryn Le Chat
14 February 2007

In a startling turn of events, a 23-minute video taken by a police photographer, which highlighted the events leading up to the death of Inge Lotz, a university student, was shown at the Cape High Court on Tuesday afternoon in the murder trial, continuing since March 2005.

Lotz, a Stellenbosch University student, was found lying motionless with her brown hair tumbled over the arm of her couch. It was only on closer inspection that the full and bloody horror of what had happened to the 22-year-old student became apparent.

Lotz was allegedly bludgeoned to death in her flat with an ornamental hammer, allegedly by her former boyfriend, Fred van der Vyver who is now on trial in the Cape High Court.

Judge Deon van Zyl, his assessors, the teams of lawyers and members of the public watched in total silence as the video unfolded.

The video began outside the flat, and moved in to the kitchen area, where it dwelt on a set of Volkswagen keys, sunglasses and a cellphone lying on the corner of a counter top.

As the footage moved along, it reportedly showed more graphic detail of the murdered Lotz. Her head was turned slightly, her eyes open and her lips parted. She had gaping wounds caused by a blunt object to her head and chest and blood pooled in her left ear.

On a chair in Lotz’s bedroom was a pair of jeans and a trio of small teddy bears.

Van der Vyver, sitting in the dock in a suit and tie, was unable to look at the most gruesome parts of the video, looking down and only occasionally glancing up.

Van der Vyver denies he killed Lotz, saying he was at work in Pinelands at the time when the murder took place.

The case continues.

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