Bloody footprints in Van Breda house all accounted for, court hears

2017-06-08 18:30
Henri van Breda arriving at court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Henri van Breda arriving at court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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WATCH: Henri van Breda phone and Google search records revealed

2017-06-01 16:57

Day 22 of the Van Breda family murder trial got under way at the Western Cape High Court on Thursday, where a ruling was made on the 'trial-within-a-trial'. Henri van Breda's phone and Google search records were also presented as evidence. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Evidence of 38 bloody shoe prints were collected at the Van Breda house following the 2015 axe attacks, of which 36 were confirmed to belong to officials who had responded to the murders that day.

Henri van Breda, 22, is accused of killing his parents and brother with an axe, seriously injuring his sister, and defeating the ends of justice. He has pleaded not guilty.

Captain Danie van der Westhuizen, a shoe print analyst, testified in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday that the remaining two, found in the en suite bathroom of the room where Martin and Rudi van Breda's bodies lay, were not considered by him to be shoe prints.

Nine pairs of shoes belonging to people who had been on the scene that day were collected and analysed by Van der Westhuizen. The footwear was brought into court during his testimony, sealed in police exhibit bags.

Most are Magnum boots worn by emergency services and security industry employees, a pair of black Bronx shoes and a more casual shoe, he testified.

The casual footwear belonged to Constable Zuko Matho, the initial investigating officer who died following an illness in August 2016.

Defence advocate Pieter Botha put it to Van der Westhuizen that his expert found that one of the prints could belong to Matho’s shoe, which had a distinct wavy pattern on its sole.

Botha said the print had been taken from an uneven surface as the tiles were not completely smooth, to which Van der Westhuizen said it had been taken into consideration.

The exhibit, however, didn’t have enough information to confirm it was a shoe print, he insisted.

The shoe print was digitally overlaid on the photo of the one in evidence to show the court the possible likelihood. 

Van der Westhuizen, however, didn’t agree.

“You cannot determine a pattern. It’s not clear to me; there is no significant pattern visible,” he testified, conceding that it could be a result of the uneven surface.

Van Breda alleges an intruder wearing a balaclava, gloves and dark clothes was behind the attack two years ago. He also said that he had heard other voices of people speaking Afrikaans in their home in the luxury De Zalze estate in Stellenbosch.

Van Breda claimed that after a fight with the axe-wielding intruder, the man had escaped.

Van der Westhuizen explained that the most common shoe print at a crime scene was the Converse brand, which makes the popular All Stars.

How common a shoe is, depends on the fashion at the time, he said.

No prints matching a fashionable brand were found at the scene.

The trial continues on Monday.

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

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