An encouraging hug for Henri as a family member attends trial

By Marelize Potgieter
02 May 2017

A gentle hug from his uncle André du Toit is the only thing so far that could get Henri van Breda to weakly smile, in the midst of the controversial court case in which he found himself.

A gentle hug from his uncle André du Toit could get Henri van Breda to smile in the midst of the drama in which he found himself. André and Henri briefly saw each other on Thursday afternoon in the foyer of the Cape Town High Court.

Henri was visibly happy to see his uncle and when they said goodbye, Henri put his arm around his uncle to give him a hug again.

No other family members were present in court.

The case in which Henri van Breda is accused of killing his father, Martin (54), mother Teresa (55), and brother, Rudi (22) with an axe, resumed on Tuesday in the High Court.

The Van Breda's bodies were found on the De Zalze luxury estate outside Stellenbosch, on the morning of January, 27 2015 at about 7am. Henri's younger sister, Marli, survived the attack with serious head injuries. Henri handed himself in to police on June 13, 2016.

Under cross-examination, first responding officer Sergeant Adrian Kleynhans revealed that since 2002, a total of 191 offenses were reported to De Zalze at the police, of which 24 were burglaries.

Adrian, as in his previous testimony, made the point that Henri reeked of strong liquor but according to Henri's legal representative, adv. Pieter Botha, no drugs or alcohol were found in his system.

The security officer, Lorenzo Africa, who testified for the state, said he had checked the electric fence around the estate to ensure that it was working on the day of the murders.

He patrolled around the estate five times that night but did not notice anything out of the ordinary. He also did not see anyone walking around the estate.

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