JOHANNESBURG, November 7 – The trial against triple axe murder accused Henri van Breda continues in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old faces three charges of murder, one of attempted murder as well as defeating the ends of justice for the axe attacks on his family at their home in the security estate De Zalze in January 2015.
He has pleaded not guilty to the attacks that left his parents, Martin and Teresa, as well as brother Rudi, dead. His sister, Marli, who was 16 years old at the time, survived the attack but sustained severe head injuries and has retrograde amnesia.
On Monday, Senior state prosecutor Susan Galloway told the court that van Breda had “selective memory loss more often than not when it comes to incriminating evidence”.
After several days of poking holes in Van Breda’s version that a balaclava clad, axe-wielding laughing intruder was behind the attacks, Galloway wrapped up her cross-examination.
Galloway highlighted the discrepancies in Van Breda’s initial police statement on January 27, and his plea explanation, saying he later added timelines, became “vague” when it suited him and tailored his evidence after having “ample time” to scrutinise the police docket.
Van Breda insisted that he was pushed by police officer Colonel Deon Beneke and has consistently blamed the discrepancies in his statement on Beneke’s “misrepresentations” of his words.
The case was adjourned until Tuesday when defence lawyer Piet Botha will proceed with re-examination of his client.