Position of body under spotlight in Henri’s trial
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.