Van Breda murder case expert thinks out the box
CAPTAIN Marius Joubert, the bloodstain expert in the Van Breda trial, drew a lot of attention in the Western Cape High Court when he climbed out of the witness box to explain his answer about the mark on the wall where Henri said he had thrown the axe.
Henri van Breda’s defence counsel‚ Piet Botha, grilled Joubert about his earlier testimony when he had stated he believed the impact on the wall to have been part of the staging of the scene.
Botha repeatedly lobbed questions at Joubert, asking him if he knew the force that was applied when the axe was thrown, and if he knew the other variables involved when Henri threw the axe. Joubert admitted: “We don’t know.” However, the witness stated that, judging by the bloodstains, spatter and cast-off, he still stood by his opinion.
“Taking my experience, I can definitely say in my opinion that the axe was not thrown,” the witness said.
While further querying the volume of blood around the axe mark on the wall, Botha revealed that his expert witness had used his own blood to conduct his own tests before he consulted with the lawyer.
The reveal drew a surprised reaction from everyone in the court.
Joubert conceded that they didn’t know the amount of blood on the murder weapon when the impact on the wall was made.
The advocate and bloodstain expert were at further loggerheads in a battle of medicine versus forensics regarding the positioning of Henri’s brother Rudi’s body.
Earlier in the week Joubert had testified that Rudi had been dragged or moved after being axed, as blood started to clot before he was moved to the bedroom floor. Joubert also stated that he did not believe Rudi was mobile after the attack.
Botha argued against this as he revealed, according to his other expert witness, Dr Reggie Perumal, it was possible that Rudi may have been alive for over two hours after the attack.
Joubert strongly disagreed, saying the blood pattern would show if he had been moving. He said blood flow patterns had significant value on the position and movement of the body.
Joubert said that in regard to the injury Rudi had sustained, and his assessment of the scene, he could not agree with Perumal.
Botha also presented that it wouldn’t have made sense for Henri to move the body. In Henri’s plea explanation, he said he saw Rudi being attacked on the bed. Botha questioned why Henri would have moved Rudi, which Joubert said was the only victim who had been moved. “I can’t tell you why Rudi was moved,” Joubert said.
“The person could have been angry towards him, and still wanted to take it out on him.”
Joubert added he didn’t believe the scene was “staged”, but that it was another person who had moved Rudi’s body rather than the victim moving on his own.
Joubert will continue giving evidence during cross-examination on Monday.
Henri van Breda stands accused of killing his brother Rudi, father Martin and mother Teresa. His also faces a charge of the attempted murder of his sister Marli.
TRIPLE-MURDER ACCUSED: Henri van Breda.