Triple murder-accused Van Breda back in court for postponement

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Henri van Breda, accused of murdering his parents and brother, as well as the attempted murder of his sister, is expected to appear in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

On Monday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the case would be postponed from the initial April 23 date, for judgment.

Judge Siraj Desai was expected to deliver his verdict on April 23, but NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said that Van Breda would appear in court on Tuesday, for a postponement.

Van Breda is accused of murdering his parents, Martin and Teresa, and older brother Rudi.

He faces a charge of attempted murder for the attack on his sister Marli, who was 16-years-old at the time, and who the State argued survived because of a “miracle” rather than a lesser attack.

The attack in the family home in the De Zalze, Stellenbosch security estate in January 2015, shocked the country, and the sensational trial has dominated headlines ever since.

Van Breda claimed a laughing, axe-wielding intruder, also armed with a knife, and wearing a balaclava and gloves was behind the vicious attacks and pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.

Last month in final arguments, Advocate Piet Botha, for Van Breda, insisted that this version was reasonably possibly true and dismissed the State’s “narrative”, saying evidence it presented was of “poor quality” and that it had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.

He was at pains to point out that crime is a daily occurrence in South Africa and argued that the “mere fact that there was gratuitous, terrible violence does not mean it can be inferred that it was someone close to them”.

In reply to the defence’s arguments, senior State prosecutor Susan Galloway said contrary to the defence’s assertions, the State’s case was not that the security estate was impenetrable, but rather that there “was no evidence of unlawful entry or anyone entering undetected”.

Furthermore, there were no big holes in the fence at the time of the incident, nothing suspicious was noted, there had been no reports from the control room nor residents, and nothing was stolen from the family home.

She said two spots of blood found on the adjoining wall of the Van Breda property “were more likely spattered from the boys’ window”.

She said four out of five members of the Van Breda family were brutally attacked and left for dead, yet the accused was left standing, having lived through the event. His injuries, allegedly self-inflicted, “were different to the rest of the family”.

“The only reasonable inference is that the accused is the attacker.”