Triple murder accused Henri van Breda. FILE PHOTO: Catherine Rice/ANA

In The News South Africa

Axe murder-accused Henri van Breda back in CTown court

JOHANNESBURG, September 14 – The trial of axe murder-accused Henri van Breda continues in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

He faces three charges of murder, one of attempted murder and one of defeating the ends of justice for allegedly killing his mother, father and brother, and seriously injuring his sister.

On Wednesday, the defence has cast doubt on the State’s case that only one axe was used in the murders of Teresa, Martin and Rudi van Breda, as well as the attempted murder of Marli van Breda.

Henri van Breda claimed that he was not behind the brutal murders that took place in the family home at the luxury de Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch on January 27, 2015. In his plea explanation, he said a laughing, axe-wielding intruder wearing dark clothing, gloves and a balaclava was responsible for the attacks.

On Wednesday, defence lawyer Piet Botha highlighted the fact that Marli’s blood had not been found on the axe used in the killings of her parents and brother. Furthermore, no trace of her blood was found on his client’s shorts or socks.

This would support Henri’s version that he was not near his sister Marli when she was attacked, as well as the possibility that a second axe and more than one intruder was behind the attack.

Teresa, Martin and Rudi’s DNA were all found on the axe, as well as on Henri’s shorts and socks.

Police bloodstain analyst, Captain Marius Joubert said there was a possibility the axe had been cleaned.

But Botha said that still did not explain whether the same axe used on Teresa, Martin and Rudi had been used on her.

“If Marli was attacked with another axe that would explain the absence of her blood.”

But Joubert countered: “The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”  He said it was possible to assault a person and not have a single drop of blood left on you.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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