Axemurder accused queries admissibility of statement to police
CAPE TOWN — Henri van Breda did not ask for legal representation before signing the statement of his version of how his parents and brother were murdered, the officer who took it down told the Western Cape High Court yesterday.
Sergeant Clinton Malan denied Van Breda’s claim that he responded to this request for legal representation with: “Why? Are you guilty?”
Pieter Botha, for Van Breda, was questioning Malan about the accuracy of the statement, which had not yet been admitted into evidence. Malan maintained he was objective and used the information Van Breda gave him to compile the statement.
The 22yearold is on trial on charges of murdering his parents and brother Rudi with an axe and attempting to murder his younger sister Marli, and defeating the ends of justice.
He has pleaded not guilty, claiming a balaclavaclad man attacked the family in their home in the De Zalze Estate, Stellenbosch, in the early hours of January 27, 2015, before escaping.
A trialwithinatrial was unfolding over the admissibility of the first state ment Van Breda gave police on the day of the triple murders. Botha argued that police had already seen his client as a suspect and that he was entitled to be warned that he did not have to make a statement, had the right to consult a lawyer, and to remain silent.
Malan said Van Breda was not informed of his rights as he was being questioned as a witness, not as a sus pect. Botha said police asked for blood to be drawn from Van Breda at a private hospital later that night to test for alcohol and drugs. Malan conceded it was strange to draw blood from a witness.
Botha asked him why only one intruder was mentioned in the statement, and Malan said the information Van Breda supplied was put in the statement. The trial continues. — News24.