Van Breda murders: One year on, still no arrests

2016-01-27 07:37
The Van Breda family. (Facebook)

The Van Breda family. (Facebook)

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Cape Town - It's been a year to the day since the tragic news broke that three family members had been killed in their home on a private golf estate in Stellenbosch.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is yet to make a decision on how to proceed with the Van Breda family murder case.

"We have received the docket from the police and we will study it with a view to taking a decision,"  NPA Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazilila said.

Martin van Breda, his wife Teresa and son Rudi were hacked to death with an axe at De Zalze golf estate in the early hours of Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

Daughter Marli, who was 16 at the time, and brother Henri, 20, were the only surviving members of the attack.

One year later, no arrests have been made.

Western Cape police told News24 on Tuesday that they were unable to reveal anything new regarding the case.

"Our investigators have given the De Zalze murder case their due attention. This case was also monitored by provincial detectives," Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said.

"Please bear with us as we cannot divulge details of the investigation that has yet to be presented before a court of law."

Traut could not speculate on when the investigation would be ready to go to court.

'Marli doing well'

According to TimesLive, neighbours on the estate might "do something in memory of the family" this week.

Marli’s legal curator though, Advocate Louise Buikman, told News24 on Tuesday she had no knowledge of any special memorial service, but did say 17-year-old Marli has recovered remarkably.

"Marli is doing very well. Her recovery has been nothing short of miraculous given the extent and severity of the injuries that she sustained," Buikman said.

"She is very well physically. Mentally, she is also coping remarkably well.

"She is obviously terribly sad about the loss of her parents and her brother. [But] Marli and her family wish to grieve in private."

Buikman stressed that it was unlikely Marli would remember the events of that night one year ago, as she suffers from retrograde amnesia.

She also said the teen had started school again this year, is back with her friends, and has regular contact with Henri.

Family spokesperson Ben Rootman told News24 that the family preferred not to comment on the case while the investigation was still ongoing, also reaffirming that no arrests had been made yet.

Here’s a timeline of how the Van Breda murder case unfolded over the last year:


- Jan 27: News breaks of a murder on the De Zalze golf estate in Stellenbosch, Western Cape. Three family members are confirmed dead. Son Henri is reportedly taken in for questioning as a witness.

- Feb 8: Evidence emerges indicating youngest son Henri may be a suspect in the murders. Reports say Henri only called paramedics four hours after the attack, and his own wounds may have been self-inflicted.

- Feb 15: The Sunday Times reports that Henri has been linked to tik drug dealers.

- Mar 9: The murder docket is received by the NPA regarding the case.

- Mar 10: Marli is released from hospital after nearly six weeks. She is diagnosed with retrograde amnesia and cannot remember the incident.

- April 26: Police are closely monitoring Henri as a potential suspect, media continues to report. Family, though, dispute his involvement, and say he will receive professional help for the trauma he has suffered.

- June 9: Marli returns to school and is doing "extremely well", advocate Louise Buikman says.

- June 15: Marli and Henri see each other again for the first time since the attack. Marli is described as being "happy" to see her brother.

- June 30: The Western Cape High Court orders Marli be placed in the care of an uncle and aunt. The court also orders that Marli's privacy as a minor be respected.

- Aug 22: The sister of mother, Teresa, says that youngest son and "lovely child" Henri would never have attacked his own family.

- To read more about the Van Breda murders on News24, click here.

Read more on:    cape town  |  van breda murders

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