Stellenbosch axe murders: What we know so far

2015-01-30 17:36
The Van Breda family (Facebook)

The Van Breda family (Facebook)

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Newspapers continue coverage of Stellenbosch family murders

2015-01-29 10:24

A 16-year-old girl whose family members were attacked on a golf estate in Stellenbosch is in a critical but stable condition, News24 was told on Wednesday.WATCH

Cape Town - The normally peaceful De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate was rocked early on Tuesday morning when news emerged that three members of a family had been brutally murdered in their R4.6m home.

The deceased were later named as successful international businessman Martin van Breda, 54, his wife, Teresa, 55, and their eldest son Rudi, 22, a student at an Australian university. Their younger son Henri, 20, was slightly injured, and daughter Marli, 16, suffered serious head injuries.

According to reports at the time, a neighbour's domestic worker saw a bloodied Henri outside the house at about 07:00. Police and paramedics were called and discovered the gruesome scene. The injured siblings were taken to hospital, where Henri was treated for minor injuries and Marli was admitted to ICU in a critical condition. She apparently had an axe wound to her head and her jugular was severed.

Paramedics who attended the scene confirmed that an axe was found, but police have not yet confirmed that it was used as the murder weapon. Forensic investigators have been at the house throughout the week.

No visitors

Management at the exclusive estate stated that security was not breached, and no visitors signed in on Monday night or Tuesday morning to visit the family, leading to questions about who could have carried out the murders.

No arrests have been made, and no motive has been given, leading to widespread rumours about the case.

Family lawyer Don Bosman has not commented on any of the speculation.  

Bosman disclosed that all professional help will be provided for Henri, who is currently in the care of his uncle in Stellenbosch. He was reportedly questioned by police as a witness, but the lawyer said it was not known whether he had talked about the events leading to the attack. His condition was described as "reasonable in the circumstances".

Marli 'a lovely, clever girl'

Marli underwent surgery on Tuesday night and remains in a critical condition in Vergelegen Medi-Clinic in Somerset West. Even close relatives have been barred from seeing her.

Marli is a Grade 11 pupil at Somerset College. Her headmistress described her as "a lovely, clever girl".

Neighbours and friends described the Van Bredas as a lovely, happy "perfect" family.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

Martin van Breda qualified as an engineer and was a successful businessman, with directorships in at least 25 companies. According to reports, he founded Netstar before selling it to Altech.

He then founded Woodhill College in Pretoria before selling it to Curro Holdings. The family moved to Australia when he took over the Australian arm of property group Engel & Völkers. The family had moved back to South Africa in mid-2014.

To read more about these gruesome murders, click here.

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime  |  van breda murders

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