Mur­der ac­cused Van Breda to learn his fate

The New Age (Free State) - - NEWS - VIN­CENT CRUYWAGEN vin­centc@the­

SUS­PECTED triple mur­der ac­cused Henri van Breda will know his fate on April 23.

Western Cape High Court judge Seraj De­sai will de­liver judg­ment fol­low­ing a marathon trial in a case that drew much in­ter­est here and abroad.

Van Breda pleaded not guilty to the grue­some mur­ders of his fa­ther, Martin, mother Teresa and brother Rudi in Jan­uary 2015, in their lux­u­ri­ous home at the De Zalze Es­tate in Stel­len­bosch. His sis­ter, Marli, sur­vived the hor­rific at­tack but was left with se­ri­ous in­juries.

Dur­ing his ev­i­dence in chief, Van Breda told the court that his fam­ily was at­tacked by a bal­a­clava-clad man wield­ing an axe. The state ad­vo­cate, Susan Gal­loway, sub­mit­ted dur­ing fi­nal ar­gu­ments that Van Breda was the cul­prit who bat­tered his fam­ily mem­bers killing three of them in­clud­ing his par­ents.

His lawyer, ad­vo­cate Piet Botha, yes­ter­day said the com­plete ab­sence of Marli’s DNA on the head of the axe that was used in the killing, did not ex­clude the pos­si­bil­ity of un­known as­sailants be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the mur­ders. In fact, it opened the door for the pos­si­bil­ity of the pres­ence of as­sailants.

Elab­o­rat­ing on this point, he ar­gued the prob­a­bil­ity of un­known as­sailants and that the ac­cused only saw one but heard the voice of an­other.

He also said the hair an­a­lyst, Col Henry Ste­wart, was an ex­tremely poor wit­ness. An­other is­sue raised was the iden­ti­fi­able fin­ger­prints lifted at the scene that could not be linked to any fam­ily mem­bers. DNA ev­i­dence did not ex­clude the pos­si­bil­ity of in­trud­ers.

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