They are still to­gether, but it’s no walk in the park

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - MIKE BEHR

SINCE the start of triple-mur­der ac­cused Henri van Breda’s trial, he’s had pre­cious lit­tle sup­port in the pub­lic gallery.

He is ac­cused of mur­der­ing his fa­ther Martin, mother Teresa and his brother Rudi at De Zalze es­tate in Stel­len­bosch in 2015.

His ma­ter­nal un­cle and guardian, An­dre du Toit, is a reg­u­lar on the hard, wooden benches that line the bal­cony which has an aerial view of pro­ceed­ings.

Al­most a dozen fam­ily mem­bers showed up dur­ing the first week to watch Van Breda shed his first court tears as his pa­ter­nal un­cle, An­dre van Breda, tes­ti­fied kindly about his slain fam­ily.

But they haven’t been seen since.

The only other no­tice­able sup­port has come from strangers who have ap­proached Van Breda dur­ing lunch ad­journ­ments with a kind word here and a hug there.

Most notable by her ab­sence from the court­room since day one has been Van Breda’s de­voted girl­friend of one-and-a-half years, Daniellé Janse van Rens­burg, who fell in love with him dur­ing classes at a Cape Town culi­nary school.

It led to spec­u­la­tion among re­porters cov­er­ing the trial that stress had split the cou­ple. That was un­til May 26, when the pair were spot­ted strolling from the High Court cham­bers to the nearby Com­pany’s Gar­den.

They am­bled hand in hand through the pub­lic gar­dens like any other cou­ple, stop­ping oc­ca­sion­ally to sit qui­etly on se­cluded park benches where they fed pi­geons and squir­rels nuts.

If any­one recog­nised Van Breda, who is pho­tographed in and out of court ev­ery day, they didn’t show it.

It gave the cou­ple a brief respite from the pres­sure cooker of one of the most talked-about mur­der tri­als since Os­car Pis­to­rius was in the dock.

Which prompts the ques­tion: if they are still as in love as the im­ages sug­gest, why hasn’t Janse van Rens­burg been in court stand­ing by her man?

“From her side, she doesn’t want to be­come a sen­sa­tion­alised sideshow for the me­dia while Henri is fight­ing for his free­dom,” said a source close to Janse van Rens­burg.

“She feels it would triv­i­alise the pro­ceed­ings. She also doesn’t want Henri to worry about her dur­ing this very stress­ful time for him.

“That doesn’t mean Daniellé’s com­pletely ruled out the idea of be­ing in court,” added the source, who asked not to be named.

“If Henri needs her sup­port in court, Daniellé won’t hes­i­tate one bit. Even though she has been chased and ha­rassed by pho­tog­ra­phers, she’s not afraid of them.

PIC­TURE: MIKE BEHR

Daniellé Janse van Rens­burg and Henri van Breda spot­ted from his lawyers’ High Court cham­bers in the nearby Com­pany’s Gar­den.

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