Po­si­tion of body un­der spot­light in Henri’s trial

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Tanya Far­ber

DID Rudi van Breda bleed to death in his bed af­ter be­ing hacked with an axe? Or did he first man­age to move off the bed to­wards the bath­room, clutch­ing a du­vet as he fought in vain for his life?

The state and de­fence put for­ward very dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios of Rudi’s last mo­ments of life.

He was one of three fam­ily mem­bers killed with an axe at their lux­ury home in Stel­len­bosch in 2015 – a crime for which his brother, Henri, now stands ac­cused.

Ear­lier in the week‚ po­lice blood spat­ter ex­pert Cap­tain Mar­ius Jou­bert said the po­si­tion of the grey du­vet and Rudi’s body‚ near the en­trance to the bath­room‚ was in­con­sis­tent with de­tails given in Henri’s not-guilty plea state­ment.

This raised the is­sue of whether Van Breda had dragged Rudi’s body off the bed to­wards the bath­room.

Ad­vo­cate Piet Botha‚ for Van Breda‚ asked: “What ben­e­fit would my client have de­rived from only chang­ing the po­si­tion of one vic­tim?”

Jou­bert said he be­lieved it was an­other per­son who moved Rudi’s body rather than Rudi mov­ing there on his own.

Botha said: “The amount of blood‚ and blood flow on Rudi’s face, showed a slightly raised po­si­tion of his head – prob­a­bly ly­ing on a pil­low – when he started bleed­ing.

“But we also know that with ref­er­ence to the big­ger pool of blood that was on the floor‚ that he must also have bled there for a pe­riod of time and quite pro­fusely.”

Botha ar­gued that Rudi was alive dur­ing this time.

But Jou­bert dis­agreed: “Why are there [then] no other flow pat­terns that show he was at some stage very active on the crime scene and mov­ing around?”

Botha ref­er­enced his own ex­pert‚ Dr Reg­gie Peru­mal‚ who had told him Rudi could have lived for two hours af­ter the at­tack.

When Jou­bert asked on what grounds Peru­mal had said this since the amount of blood on the bed was so sig­nif­i­cant‚ Botha re­torted: “You are the wit­ness – you an­swer the ques­tions‚ you don’t ask them!”

The case was ad­journed to Mon­day.

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