The highly anticipated murder trial of Henri van Breda is set to start in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Van Breda stands accused of murdering his father Martin‚ mother Teresa and brother Rudi with an axe in January 2015. His sister Marli survived the attack but sustained serious injuries.
Media24 has applied to live-stream court proceedings but the state and Van Breda’s lawyers have opposed the application. Judge Siraj Desai‚ who will preside over the trial‚ is due to hear arguments on Friday.
The January 2015 family murders on the luxury De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch shocked the country.
In June last year Van Breda handed himself over to police after his lawyers learnt that he was going to be arrested. He appeared in the Stellenbosch Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder‚ attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice.
According to the indictment‚ raised voices were heard coming from the house on the evening of January 26.
Van Breda then called his girlfriend at 4:24am the next day but she did not answer.
A few minutes later he did an internet search ‘’looking for emergency numbers’’.
The document also indicated that he had superficial self-inflicted wounds.
“[Henri] tampered with the crime scene‚ inflicted injuries to his person and supplied false information to police in order to mislead the police as to the true identity of the perpetrator‚’’ the indictment said.
An axe and a kitchen knife were recovered from the scene.
Bail was set at R100‚000 and Van Breda was released under conditions that include having to report to his local police station. He is also not allowed to leave the Western Cape.
The family seemed to lead an idyllic life.
Martin was a successful businessman and moved his family to Australia‚ where they lived in the lap of luxury. They returned to South Africa shortly before the incident. But there were rumours that all was not well.
The Sunday Times reported that Van Breda had been admitted to an exclusive mental health and drug rehabilitation centre in Cape Town.
Last year Van Breda and his girlfriend‚ Danielle Janse van Rensburg‚ were arrested for the possession of dagga in Table View.
In October the pair appeared in court on drug charges. He was released on bail of R1‚000 and Janse van Rensburg on R200. At the time the court heard that she was due to undergo an assessment by the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro).
They are set to appear in court on April 11. – Tiso Black Star Group/Nashira Davids