'Coping' in a nightmare
Though Christelle Lotter is disturbed by the damning evidence presented in the Durban High Court, where her siblings are accused of killing their parents, the Cape Town student is "coping".
Christelle's lawyer, Piet Matthee, said: "Obviously, this is a difficult time for Christelle but she is definitely coping.
"She will not come to court because she is traumatised but she has always had representation in court by me, my assistant and other family members, so she knows what is going on."
Christelle's younger siblings, Nicolette and Hardus, now 29 and 23 respectively, are being tried with Nicolette's former boyfriend, Mathew Naidoo, more than three years after their arrest for the murder of Johan and Riekie Lotter at their Westville home in July 2008. They have all pleaded not guilty.
Hardus told the court on Tuesday that he had attacked his mother with a stun gun, hit her with his fists and sat on her for about 15 minutes before Nicolette stabbed her repeatedly. He said he had strangled his father with a cord he pulled around his neck for abou t 20 minutes.
Nicolette and Hardus claim that they killed their parents on the instructions of Naidoo, who, they say, convinced them that he was the "third son of God".
Hardus told the court that he believed killing his parents was "God's will".
Naidoo denied involvement in the murders and claimed on Friday that Nicolette had told him that she believed her father sexually assaulted her as a child.
The state alleges that Naidoo and the siblings planned the double murder to gain a share of the inheritance.
Prosecutor Rea Mina said Nicolette and Hardus also wanted their parents dead so that Naidoo could live with them "unhindered".
Christelle, in her bid last year to prevent her siblings getting their hands on their parents' R2-million estate to fund their defence, said nothing supported their claim that Naidoo influenced them to kill.
Matthee said Christelle had not visited her siblings in prison or maintained any contact.
However, her father's brother, Willem, and his sister, Antoinette, who have attended the proceedings, have indicated that they are not condoning the pair's actions but will offer emotional support to "our brother's children" during the trial.