Innocent Acts of Evil

by Danie Grundlingh ISBN 978-0-620-50018-0 (Grundlingh Attorneys) R250

 

No one in South Africa is a stranger to the case involving the Lotter siblings who murdered their parents, after claiming the ‘son of God’ - Matthew Naidoo - made them do it.

 

This book is written by the siblings’ attorney Danie Grundlingh. It sets out to highlight how fanaticism or extremism combined with religion can be a lethal combination.

 

Grundlingh details the journey of how Hardus, and his sister, Nicolette, are brainwashed through strict religious doctrine into believing that Matthew Naidoo, who was Nicolette’s boyfriend at the time, was the second son of God. Hard to believe? It was for me, until it’s revealed that Nicolette held a strong regard for supernatural beliefs such as witchcraft and the tokoloshe before she met Naidoo. Sensing she was vulnerable and mentally unstable, this charlatan with a golden tongue, managed to weasel his way into her life, and her brother’s. 

 

I found the style a bit difficult to get used to. It’s almost as if you’re reading a screenplay rather than someone’s account of events that unfolded. Despite this, it’s one of those books you can’t put down.

 

Mathew Naidoo received a double life sentence in the Durban High Court for his role in the killings, while Nicolette was sentenced to an effective 12 years' in jail, and Hardus to an effective 10 years.

 

Ashleigh Seton-Rogers

4/5

 

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Shattered Lives: The Story of Advocate Barbie

by Liezl Thom and Laurie Pieters (TCB Publishing) ISBN 978-0-620-51152-0

 

After witnessing the media frenzy surrounding Cezanne Visser (or the more famously nicknamed, Advocate Barbie) for the last 9 years or so, I was curious to find out more about the events that led up to her eventual fall from grace.

 

The first time we saw her on South African TV vying for the coveted position of South African Idols, her infamy seemed to spread.  Not for reasons that you and I would be proud of, but due to her strange and bizarre relationship with Dirk Prinsloo, a fellow advocate.

 

The happily ever after for ‘Barbie’ (the moniker even the prison warders use to address her these days) was not to last.  It soon became apparent, that not only had this couple been living a bizarre lifestyle on the outside, but back home, they were delving into sexually depraved acts that included preying on underage girls from children’s homes, to satisfy their sexual urges.

 

When faced with a prison sentence and charges of fraud, indecent assault, possession of child pornography etc. this foolhardy and resourceful couple don’t just lie down and die. Quite the contrary.

 

While this story will make you cringe for this inappropriate and disillusioned couple, it’s definitely worth a read especially when it comes to hearing about their house of horrors, or the oddly nick-named, ‘Inner Circle Castle’!

 

Ashleigh Seton-Rogers

3/5

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