Axe murder investigation progressing well - police

2015-04-19 16:01
The De Zalze  golf estate. (Jaco Marais)

The De Zalze golf estate. (Jaco Marais)

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Cape Town - Significant progress was being made in the Van Breda family axe murders investigation, police said on Sunday.

But the police are not in a position to share this progress with the media, said Western Cape police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk.

"Please be advised that although significant progress is being made with regards to our investigations into the De Zalze murders, this progress cannot be shared with the media at this stage," Van Wyk said in an email to News24.

"Once we are in the position to disclose the finer aspects of the case, we will make an official announcement."

This was despite a report that the 16-year-old Marli Van Breda could not remember anything of the attack.

Van Wyk was responding to a report in The Sunday Independent newspaper that police were unable to charge anyone for the murders because Marli, their main witness, told police last week she had no memory of the killings whatsoever.

On Sunday morning, her family issued a statement confirming this.

"While she is reacting favourably to all the treatment she is receiving, she has retrograde amnesia. She cannot recall anything at all about the attack," the Van Breda family said in a statement.


Nearly three months ago Martin van Breda, 54, his wife Teresa, 55, and son Rudi, 22 were brutally murdered in an axe attack at their luxury De Zalze golf estate home in Stellenbosch.

Their daughter Marli, and 20-year-old brother Henri, were the only ones that survived the attack. Marli was left with a severed jugular and a severe head wound, while Henri was left with only scratches and bruises.

Her family said her physical condition had improved "dramatically" and that she had been discharged from the rehabilitation care centre where she had been receiving treatment for the last few weeks.

"That she survived the attack is a miracle and her physical recovery continues to astound those close to her. She is able to walk, communicates well and, surprisingly, given everything that has happened, has retained her sense of humour," said her family.

But she was suffering from retrograde amnesia.

"According to her medical team, this is not strange and commonly occurs with patients who have suffered such traumatic experiences. In some cases the situation remains for life. A long road of rehabilitation lies ahead as she learns to compensate for certain neurocognitive difficulties resulting from her traumatic brain injury."

She was still receiving police protection and had not been able to make a formal statement.

"Marli has, temporarily, been placed in the care of family friends. All parties and legal representatives concerned reached agreement that a legal curator be appointed to safeguard her best interests and to report to the High Court as to the best way forward for her."

Earlier this year, it was also reported that evidence had emerged that Henri only called emergency services four hours after the attack in January.

Henri had also apparently told family members that he was knocked unconscious in the attack after the attacker threw the axe at him.

Read more on:    marli van breda  |  cape town  |  van breda murders

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