This book takes head-on one of the highest-profile murder cases in recent South African history. In 2007 Fred van der Vyver was acquitted of the 2005 murder of fellow student Inge Lotz. He then sued the police to the highest court for malicious prosecution – and failed.
In spite of the defence’s trashing of the prosecution’s case at the trial, the authors show, compellingly, how every key element of the prosecuting evidence withstands the closest scrutiny. They use models, measurements, forensic tests, mathematical formulae and the views of experts both here and overseas.
They show how an ornamental hammer found in Van der Vyver’s vehicle, but thrown out as evidence, could match the head wounds. Contrary to the claim accepted at court they show convincingly that a disputed fingerprint was not lifted off a drinking glass – a detail that could make all the difference.
They demonstrate how blood marks on a towel could have come off the hammer, how blood stains on the floor could have been shaped by a specific shoe and how a closer look at cellphone records reveal a different choreography of movements than what was accepted by the court.
Could it be that two amateurs succeeded where the state prosecution failed? Thomas, a language practitioner, and his engineer brother Calvin, have made headlines, been featured on Carte Blanche and vilified, but not proven wrong – leaving wide open one of the most tantalising unsolved murder cases on record.
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