My first post to this forum. Let me state at the outset that I am an average South African citizen with no training, experience on forensics or history in the South African criminal or judiciary system. My interest in this case was peaked due to the extraordinary circumstances of Inge's death, followed throughout the trial and I was ultimately dumbfounded at the reality that evidence was fabricated and that an innocent man could have spent life in jail. I think what made this case hit close to home was the fact that the accused was a white male of my age, came of a good, conservative upbringing, good quality education, working for one of the biggest known private financial institutes in South Africa, in a building that I have myself visited for business meetings on previous occasions. Simply put, it brought home the reality that something like this could (have) easily happened to someone like me or in my immediate circle of friends. One day you're living a normal middle-class life in a fairly well-off suburb with a stable friendship circle and tomorrow you are accused of murder. I cannot imagine what effect this must have had on Fred and I commend him for staying strong psychologically throughout the trial and consequent trials and, I believe now moving on with his life in having gotten married to a new love.
Antony Altbeker's book, Fruit of a Poisoned tree brought with it an immense amount of information around the circumstances surrounding Inge's murderer and, put into context for a layman such as myself the enormity and complexity such a case involves in order to prosecute someone successfully. As with a number of South Africans I presume, the Inge Lotz story has become one of an almost obsessive hobby. There are just too many questions unanswered and due to Lotz' murder never having been found, the case today is still as real as it was 7 years ago, if not more so... Purely because of the activity I have seen over the past couple of weeks picking up.Let me also state at this point that I am not a journalist, was not afforded the opportunity to sit though the trial as it occurred, have not interviewed anyone in my own capacity or made any contact with the victim's family or that of the original accused. By this then, I'm purely an avid follower of this case and my enthusiasm, recently re-sparked by Piet Byleveld and Jan Lotz, Inge's father again pleading to the public for support in bringing to light the real killer. I am also not researching this case due to any monetary reward offered by Jan Lotz as I believe in the general goodness of mankind. He's already lost a daughter, there should be no reason for the man to suffer any further financial loss over and above the psychological trauma endured by his family. My support then, as little as it maybe is to help, wherever I can to spread the message and hopefully engage in intelligent conversation around the circumstances which could have contributed to a fairly average South African family having been ripped apart like this.
Through trawling the web for the very first media reports of the murder, and consequent reports thereafter (which contain multiple versions, and inevitably) many inconsistencies, hoping that somewhere something would "jump out" that could point in a specific direction, I have not seen any of the evidence first-hand (apart from the images and descriptions posted through Altbeker's book), my study then is purely based on media reports, which as we all know are to be extensively inaccurate at best, and the trial transcripts which we also know excluded evidence presented to the investigators and prosecutors which were never presented in court. In other words, my access to information has been limited to that which is only available for public compensation. It is in trawling the web that I came across this forum which has kept me busy for the last couple of hours in reading the various contributed posts - firstly, thank you for a most informative message board - the content and quality is held in high regard, and it's clear that the contributors here all have an honorable desire to see this case closed and justice served. Whilst I have followed the case and know the details of the key players, I trust that the lack of my experience and limited knowledge around the subject of murder investigation will this be taken in this context in any future replies.
My thoughts on the case? Fred is innocent, as has already been proved by his acquittal and the evidence relating thereto. There is however a couple of things which just don't 'click' it hasn't from the start, and continues to do so. It's as if every possible angle in itself, had a hole in. In Fred's side, all checked out with the exception of any reliable witness being able to actually, uncategorically confirm that they could remember him at the presentation on the meeting that was held on the afternoon of Inge's murder. Also, the computer records found on his computer about committing the perfect murder...what was that all about, it was never explained away?
What about Carolus? How could he have known the details he did? Why confess to a murder? Even if he was the fall-guy, why has nothing come of it since then, 7 years later...even now that Mr. Lotz has offered a R1m reward for any information which will lead to the real murderer being exposed. Surely that amount should have exceeded whatever he may have been paid to be the fall-guy?
Through everything, my mind keeps coming back to two people. Marius Botha and Wimpie Boshoff, both who had a rather unusual relationship/connection with Inge. Let's start with Marius who was allegedly deeply in love with Inge Lotz from their 1st year in varsity, but who consequently started dating someone else the following year. Van Der Vyfer met Inge through the friendship he had with Marius Botha, which, by 2005 was described as best-friends and flatmates. It was also quoted that Marius told Inge shortly after she started dating Van Der Vyfer that from thereon, their friendship could never be the same. That's a rather strange thing to say to a friend if you weren't dating, or if someone was still emotionally attached to part of the relationship). Furthermore, two things stand out for me around this 1. contrary to the way the Van der Vyfer and Botha living arrangements were portrayed, they only moved in together a month before the murder. Co-incidental perhaps... Or maybe not so, considering that they both also started working for Old Mutual around the same time, Botha in November 2004 and Van Der Vyfer in January 2005. At this stage, it begs the question, if they worked at the same place, is it possible that the CCTV footage was being watched for the wrong guy? What exactly was Marius Botha doing during the afternoon hours when Inge's murder took place? If they worked at the same building, I would imagine they both held full-time positions and there should be no reason why any employee should be out of the office for an extended period of time in the afternoon, unless he was In a sales type position which required plenty of time out of the office. I cannot recall ever reading in any of the statements that Marius Botha was questioned about his whereabouts on that afternoon, less so confirmation thereof.
The second, is friend Wimpie Boshoff who by all indications was the last person who saw her alive. The nature of his friendship with Inge Lotz was described as her best friend and confidant. He certainly seemed to have known about all her past relationships, who had "secret" crushes on her and, certainly her current one on the day of her murder as she shared with him that she believed it was over between her and Fred. According to his version in court, he testified that he convinced her to stay with Van Der Vyfer. Nothing has ever been said about whether there ever was a love interest from Wimpie's side, and if you ask me, it is extremely rare to have two people of the opposite sex, at their age, to have such an open friendship, without there being a love interest from one or the other (usually, from the male's side) in the hope that the supporting role the one-side is playing will eventually flourish into something more when everything else fails to work out. The other possibility of course is that he may have been homosexual (and please, i have no factual basis to make such an assumption) and thus, no threat to Inge or any of her lovers.
Assume however, for one second, this version is only a half-truth. They meet up for coffee that afternoon, she tells him the relationship is over, Wimpie, knowing that he has waited a long time to be with her decides to declare his love for her.
There has also been mention that he has on numerous occasions visited her at her home, which tells me he either had a key, or could frequently enter the complex and she would let him in without hesitation. It may be on this afternoon that they finish off coffee and either she 1. Invites him to go watch a DVD with her for the afternoon (as they may have done on numerous occasions before) or 2. They say goodbye but he decides to pop by in any case after she gets home. Here, she invites him in and he proclaims his undying love for her. She responds that she's in love with Fred, and in a moment of rage and disappointment, believing that he has through all the years shown her his support and love, knocks her out in rageband the murder becomes one of passion.... "if I can't have you, no one else on this earth will".
Wimple, is the last person Inge spoke to.
Again, what was his movements after they left the coffee shop? Can anyone confirm his whereabouts?
Fred also mentioned in trial when first questioned how he came to hear about Inge's *murder* to which he responded he couldn't quite recall whether it was Marius (most likely), Wimpie (say what) or Christo (possible). The question to be posed is when did Wimpie first hear of her murder? By all accounts, it should have been much much later than the other two as neither of them really knew about Wimpie's session with Inge earlier that afternoon.
And should a remote possibility exist, would it have been possible for the two to have worked together?
What I also find strange is that in any normal friendship circle, if I was having an "affair" or cheating, there surely should have been some record of such communication between those two parties on the days leading up to her murder. I don't think these things were probed thoroughly enough. Once again, this is personal suspicions and assumptions without fact and should in no way intend to falsely accuse any of the people described here,
I would love to hear your thoughts while I eagerly await any new developments on this case. Piet, I have no doubt that you will crack this.