AS IT HAPPENED: Van Breda trial postponed to 24 April

2017-03-27 09:34

Judge Desai has postponed the start of the Van Breda trial to 24 April 2017.

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Last Updated at 23:53
27 Mar 09:33

Judge Siraj Desai will decide at 10:00 whether he will allow a livestream of the trial.


27 Mar 09:35

Henri Van Breda is charged with three counts of murder, one of attempted murder, and one of obstructing the course of justice.

Van Breda was arrested 17 months after his parents, Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55, and his brother Rudi, 22, were killed in their home on the luxury De Zalze golf estate in Stellenbosch in the early hours of Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

His sister Marli, 16, survived.


27 Mar 09:36

27 Mar 09:36

Henri van Breda is set to go on trial in the Western Cape High Court today, two years after his parents and brother were killed with an axe. 


27 Mar 09:50

27 Mar 09:50
Judge Siraj Desai will at 10:00 give his decision on application by Media24 to livestream the Van Breda trial. Trial expected to start at 11:30.

27 Mar 09:51

27 Mar 10:01

27 Mar 10:13
Judge Desai: I've given this matter careful consideration. This order is not cast in stone.

27 Mar 10:14
No exhibits may be photographed or recorded.

27 Mar 10:15
Judge Desai: An absolute bar on audio recordings of bench discussions and of discussion between advocates.

27 Mar 10:20

Judge Siraj Desai on Monday granted with conditions an application by Media24 to broadcast Henri van Breda's murder trial, set to start in the Western Cape High Court later in the morning.

He said that video cameras may be used, with conditions (see full ruling above). No exhibits would be allowed to be recorded or photographed.

Importantly, media would not be allowed to photograph or record his sister Marli without prior consent.


27 Mar 10:21
Judge Desai says that he could change this order at any stage if parties feel trial is being jeopardised.

27 Mar 10:23
Media application will be postponed to 11:30 and the criminal matter to 14:15.

27 Mar 10:29

27 Mar 11:00

The ruling is not set in stone.

Defence have been given more time to oppose it. We will know the final ruling at 11:30.


27 Mar 11:07

27 Mar 11:14

Application for video coverage RULING:

IT IS ORDERED THAT:

1. Subject to what is ordered in paragraph 5 below:-
1.2 For 15 minutes before the commencement of Court each day, and after the adjournment of proceedings, the applicant may take still photographs in court, and video footage in court;
1.3 During the sitting of the Court, the applicant is permitted to install two video cameras to record and or broadcast the proceedings, with the following guidelines:
1.3.1 The cameras shall be set up by not later than 15 minutes before the commencement of proceedings every day, and shall be removed by not later than half an hour after the adjournment of proceedings at the end of the day;
1.3.2 The video cameras shall be stationary, erected on tripods, and shall not be attended by a person;
1.3.3 The video cameras shall be left to record and broadcast the proceedings, and shall be located in such positions as the Court may direct from time to time;
1.3.4 The cameras shall be located discreetly to cause as little intrusion in the proceedings of the Court as possible.

2. None of the arrangements above shall be extended to Marli van Breda, in respect of whom no photographs, audio recordings or video footage shall be taken before, during or after the hearings, whether she is present as a witness, spectator or in any other capacity, save with the prior written consent of the Third Respondent;
3. There is an absolute bar on:3.1 audio recordings or close-up photography of bench discussions; and
3.2 audio recordings or close-up photography of communications between legal representatives or between clients and their legal representatives;
4. No exhibits shall
be photographed, videotaped or published by the media;
5. The parties are at liberty to approach the Court for any variation or amendment of this order as the occasion warrants.


27 Mar 11:35
Botha says they will appeal the decision to allow.

27 Mar 11:37
Desai counters there is fundamentally no real prospect of jeopardy to the trial.

27 Mar 11:39
Legal team says they are going to take the matter to the Constitutional Court if Desai doesn't provide reasons.

27 Mar 11:42

Legal team says counsel would be intimidated by live coverage.

They are pushing for postponement and Desai wants to get started.


27 Mar 11:43
Respondents say that if the trial proceeds then Desai must not allow cameras at this point.

27 Mar 11:46
Botha: we would have run with matter until Thursday anyway.

27 Mar 11:46
Certain documentation has also not been received by defense, and Botha said it would later (during criminal proceedings) argue for a postponement.

27 Mar 11:47
Argues that applicant should have applied timeously.

27 Mar 11:47
Media24 lawyer says the order is flexible and wants the trial to continue as per the order.

27 Mar 11:47
The order has been suspended, trial to start at 14:15.

27 Mar 11:54

27 Mar 12:51

27 Mar 13:47

27 Mar 14:11

27 Mar 14:17
The State is asking for a postponement of the trial.

27 Mar 14:18

State asking for the chance to speak to witnesses who do not want to be recorded.

Some said 'I don't want to', some have fear of being videotaped.


27 Mar 14:20

Botha: You have now suspended the order until at least 24 April.

Desai: Yes, for this to be finalised in one of the superior courts.


27 Mar 14:20
Botha: A large amount of the evidence state will present has to do with experts, among others, DNA. We only received two DNA reports.

27 Mar 14:22
Botha: These two reports one deals with murder weapon used in attack. We consulted with our own experts, requested additional reports form State, not yet received.

27 Mar 14:23
State will hand in photo exhibits; those albums contain photos. We were given pdfs. We requested original photos. Certain photos need to be zoomed in and enhanced.

27 Mar 14:23
Botha: I have consulted my client, we are prepared for trial. We have drafted a plea explanation. 

27 Mar 14:24
Botha: Other reason to ask for postponement. DNA reports we only received in March, not all evidence in around murder weapon. We've also requested electronic copies of detailed murder scenes pics - still haven't received.

27 Mar 14:25
Galloway: We are in the process of obtaining photographs, the version in which it was submitted was powerpoint, can be zoomed in. You can also convert them yourself to zoom in.

27 Mar 14:28
Botha says he cannot allow his client to tell his version until he's seen all the evidence against him

27 Mar 14:29

27 Mar 14:29
Desai: I don't intend to allow unnecessary postponements to procrastinate the conclusion of the trial.

27 Mar 14:31
Desai: There is public interest in the matter.

27 Mar 14:32

27 Mar 14:46

27 Mar 14:51

27 Mar 14:58

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