AS IT HAPPENED: Court hears gruesome details of the Van Breda murders

2017-05-25 09:55

WARNING: Graphic content. The Van Breda murder trial continued at the Western Cape High Court, where chilling details of the murders were revealed.

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Last Updated at 14:55
25 May 14:50
Botha says according to case law, even a suspect is afforded the protection of Section 35 of the Constitution. There is, however, conflicting case law.

25 May 14:51
It is clear from evidence shown, he was seen as a suspect at the time. His statement was taken that afternoon. 15:52.

25 May 14:52
Refers to Dr Albertse's examination, and her being asked if his injuries could be self inflicted. 

25 May 14:52
He wasn't given food, dressed only in underpants. Questioned by Col Benecke.

25 May 14:53
His opening line was "I don't believe a word of your bullshit story".

25 May 14:55

He said he would also, if necessary. call his maternal uncle and his wife.

He was taken at 9:30 to Vergelegen to complete a J88 and draw blood to check for drugs and blood alcohol levels.


25 May 14:55
Henri was already seen as a suspect, and he was entitled to be warned that he doesn't have to make a statement, had the right to consult with a legal representative and right to remain silent.

25 May 14:55
Henri hadn't had any food since the previous evening, and no sleep since the Sunday evening.

25 May 14:57
Desai says the denial of food may be a sign of torture, but only if denied after the person asks for it.

25 May 14:58
Botha bases his reasoning on Section 35, and in addition, when Henri was repeatedly questioned and asked to sign a statement. Family and friends brought him clothes and food and weren't allowed to give it to him until he signed the statement.

25 May 15:00

Botha says food and sleep deprivation is acts of torture. But is this the case for that? Desai asks.

Botha says he is not submitting that they deprived him, but when his statement was taken, it becomes relevant why decided to sign it.

Without legal representation; he did ask if he needed a lawyer, was asked why? Are you guilty?


25 May 15:00
Desai: is your real issue Section 35?

25 May 15:02
Botha: Yes. Alternatively, that the judges rules that he doesn't have to make a statement, is entitled to representation, and that statement can be used against you,wasn't afforded to him

25 May 15:04

Galloway: the statement was taken as Henri was a witness and not a suspect. 

Botha states that he is not suggesting that Henri was tortured. He simply is saying Henri's situation needs to be considered.


25 May 15:07
Sergeant Clinton Malan called to the stand. He took Henri's statement. He is stationed at Stellenbosch police station. Was a constable at the time. He was also at the scene.

25 May 15:10
He was there after 08:00 that morning. There were many officers at the scene.

25 May 15:11
His duty was to take the victim to the district surgeon to record his wounds on a J88. (The victim being Henri van Breda)

25 May 15:11
Not a strange instruction, he says.

25 May 15:13
He took Henri to Dr Albertse. Took him just after 11:00.

25 May 15:13
Prior to that, he was in the ambulance at the scene, then in a police vehicle.

25 May 15:14
He was in the ambulance to have his injuries attended to.

25 May 15:14
No one had approached police to say they had information for the police.

25 May 15:15
After being at the doctor, he took him to his office.

25 May 15:15
At the time, Henri was calm, quiet, and showed no emotion.

25 May 15:16
He was by accompanied Sergeant Adams.

25 May 15:17
He didn't volunteer to speak to us. They asked him questions, and he answered.

25 May 15:19
We asked him what happened, could he describe the person involved. 

25 May 15:21

Captain Steyn was also at scene. He had been busy with an investigation into balaclava gang. It was said the attacker had been wearing a balaclava.

He didst indicate he didn't want to speak any further.


25 May 15:22
He doesn't know where he got the t-shirt. Got to the office shortly after 12:00. Henri was taken to Sergeant Adams office, where he sat. Then to Col Benecke's office.

25 May 15:22
He was interviewed to determine what had happened and also to identify a suspect.

25 May 15:24
He was the only survivor and it was important to get his statement to inform crime intelligence of a possible suspect for them to follow up.

25 May 15:24
During the interview, Henri was wearing pants and a t-shirt. He was wearing long pants, I believe given to him by a family member.

25 May 15:25
Taken to Benecke office after 12:00; typed statement at 2:20.

25 May 15:26
His version of events didn't change.

25 May 15:30

Malan is Afrikaans, but took statement in English because Henri didn't understand Afrikaans.

He read and signed it.


25 May 15:31
While speaking to him and statement being taken, he remained calm, showed no emotion, he was quiet.

25 May 15:32
After that, he left my office, walked to family members who had been waiting for him.

25 May 15:33
Never indicated that he was not emotionally or physically able to speak, Malan says

25 May 15:34
Malan had brought a sandwich with him for lunch, and while Henri was in Benecke's office, he left to eat his sandwich.

25 May 15:34
Was he asked anything that could possibly be incriminating? Galloway asks. No, Malan says.

25 May 15:35
He was not detained or charged. He was there as a victim.

25 May 15:35
Did he ever say anything incriminating? No, Malan says.

25 May 15:36
Botha now cross examining.

25 May 15:37

He says 95% of what Malan has said is a first for him.

Col Benecke had requested a statement, and it was decided that Malan should do it.


25 May 15:38
From De Zalze, they went to Dr Albertse. Doesn't recall DNA evidence being taken, but knows of the J88.

25 May 15:39
Botha says they first went form De Zalze to police station to collect the J88 and evidence bags before taken to doctor.

25 May 15:40

At Dr Albertse, he was in blue boxer shorts, that is also what Albertse says, Botha tells him.

Malan recalls him wearing tracksuit pants.


25 May 15:43
Botha seems to be getting angry.

25 May 15:45
With that, court adjourns till Monday 10am. 

25 May 15:45

Henri van Breda avoids gruesome pics of dead family

Murder accused Henri van Breda sat on the far end of the dock in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday in a bid to avoid seeing photos of his murdered family members.

Pathologist Dr Daphne Anthony, who conducted the autopsies of Martin, Rudi and Teresa van Breda, took to the witness stand, confirming that all three died due to the consequences of their traumatic head injuries.

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