They are still together, but it’s no walk in the park
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.
Daniellé Janse van Rensburg and Henri van Breda spotted from his lawyers’ High Court chambers in the nearby Company’s Garden.