Ev­i­dence: Rudi’s last mo­ments

Trial query Did brother die in bed or did he drag him­self to the bath­room clutch­ing his du­vet?

The Times (South Africa) - - News - By TANYA FAR­BER

● Did Rudi van Breda bleed to death in his bed af­ter be­ing hacked with an axe? Or did he move off the bed to­wards the bath­room clutch­ing a du­vet be­fore he died?

Both are ghastly to imag­ine‚ but the state and de­fence put for­ward very dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios of Rudi’s last mo­ments.

Rudi was one of three fam­ily mem­bers killed with an axe at their lux­ury home in Stel­len­bosch in 2015. His brother Henri van Breda is charged with mur­der­ing his mother, fa­ther and him.

Ear­lier in the week blood-spat­ter ex­pert Cap­tain Mar­ius Jou­bert said the po­si­tion of the grey du­vet and Rudi’s body‚ both found near the en­trance to the bath­room‚ was in­con­sis­tent with de­tails given in Van Breda’s plea state­ment. This raised the is­sue of whether Van Breda dragged his brother’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 re­sponded that per­haps “the per­son could have been an­gry at him and pushed him around”.

Botha said he was not say­ing some­thing had been “staged” but that he be­lieved it was an­other per­son who moved Rudi’s body.

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 know that with ref­er­ence to the big­ger pool of blood on the floor‚ that he must have bled there for a pe­riod of time and quite pro­fusely.” Botha ar­gued he was alive dur­ing this time. Jou­bert dis­agreed: “If he was mov­ing on his own [from the bed to the floor to­wards the bath­room] with his heart beat­ing‚ why are there no other flow pat­terns that show he was at some stage very ac­tive on the crime scene?”

Botha hit back‚ say­ing that Jou­bert’s the­ory of Rudi’s dead body be­ing dragged around would also show such flow pat­terns‚ yet there

“He must have bled there for a pe­riod of time and quite pro­fusely”

PIET BOTHA Van Breda’s ad­vo­cate

weren’t any. Jou­bert said the blood would have dried by then.

Botha in­sisted that Rudi could have been alive‚ and ref­er­enced his own ex­pert‚ Dr Reg­gie Peru­mal‚ who in­formed Botha he “could have lived for an­other two hours af­ter the at­tack”.

Pic­ture: An­thony Molyneaux

CROSS-EX­AM­I­NA­TION Henri van Breda’s coun­sel, Piet Botha, in ac­tion at the High Court in Cape Town

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.