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

YOU (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - BY JOANIE BERGH, LARA ATSON & COLIN HENDRICKS

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.

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