The Van Breda murder trial: what’s next for Henri
The Van Breda axe murder case so far, the key moments and what experts say about the possible outcome
APIZZA for the birthday boy hand-delivered by his girlfriend. It sounds like the kind of treat many a young woman would arrange to spoil her boyfriend on his special day – except this is no ordinary couple and the circumstances are nothing if not unusual.
He’s a triple-murder accused fighting for his freedom in the high court in Cape Town.
And she’s the devoted partner who seems determined to stand by him no matter what.
Daniellé Janse van Rensburg was waiting for Henri van Breda in his advocate’s chambers across the road from court the day he turned 23.
This was Henri’s third birthday since his parents, Martin and Teresa, and brother, Rudi, were killed in a brutal axe attack that also left his little sister, Marli, fighting for her life.
The 22-year-old meets Henri there most lunchtimes – it’s his habit to retreat to the sanctuary of his lawyer’s office during the court’s midday recess.
Later on this day, 1 November, she had a surprise for him: a kingsize pizza.
Henri seemed to appreciate the gesture and the pair looked very much in love as they strolled to the car at the end of the day, Henri holding her hand in one hand while clutching the pizza box in the other.
Although Daniellé has been conspicuous by her absence in court during the trial that’s both captivated and horrified the country, she drives him there every day then waits in his lawyer’s rooms, watching a live feed of the trial, a source tells YOU.
Apparently Henri prefers it this way: he’s intent on keeping her out of the public eye.
He and Daniellé started dating in 2015 after meeting at a chef ’s school and even after he was charged with murder she stood by him, saying she believes unwaveringly in his innocence.
As the trial draws to a close we take a look at who’s who in the courtroom zoo – and ask legal experts to gaze into their crystal ball.
ABOVE: Henri van Breda finally took the witness stand to give his version of what happened on the night of 27 January 2015 when his family was attacked with an axe. He’s also the final witness in the trial. LEFT: The man who’ll determine Henri’s fate, Judge Siraj Desai.