Access to De Zalze not impossible, defence argues in Van Breda case

2017-05-08 18:36
Henri van Breda during an earlier court appearance. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Henri van Breda during an earlier court appearance. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Five months after the Van Breda triple murders at De Zalze Estate, an attempt was made to access the property by cutting through its security fence, the Western Cape High Court heard on Monday.

But the perimeter was not breached as swift action by security officers scared off the potential intruders, security manager Marcia Rossouw testified.

The incident took place on June 9 2015, when an alarm was activated near the estate gate leading to the adjacent Spier wine farm.

According to an incident report, a security officer was dispatched and upon arrival found the energiser - which powers two zones of the electric fence around the estate - upside down. The cables had been damaged and there was a hole in the fence.

Advocate Pieter Botha told the court that it had taken the suspects four minutes to cause the damage, asking how this could have been managed in such a short time.

AS IT HAPPENED: Day 7 of the Van Breda triple axe murder trial

Alarm activations

Rossouw said this was possible if there had been more than one person involved, but pointed out that the officers were quick in responding.

The responding officers' cars and lights scared off the would-be intruders and the attempt was averted, she confirmed.

Earlier, the court heard that the security alarm activations on the night of the axe murders were due to low power.

These were not true alarms, Rossouw said, and indicated that the power dip could affect the system.

Botha also told the court that in 2016 a journalist had managed to gain entry to the estate by claiming he was going wine tasting at the neighbouring Kleine Zalze.

A bridge connects the estate and Kleine Zalze and had no access control.

Botha had spotted the journalist, in an unmarked car, taking photos of the Van Breda house.

Henri van Breda, 22, is accused of axing his parents Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55, and brother Rudi, 22, to death, and attempting to murder his younger sister Marli in the early hours of January 27, 2015.

He has pleaded not guilty and insists that he tried to stop a masked intruder who had attacked the family in their home.

The case resumes on Tuesday.

Read more on:    henri van breda  |  cape town  |  crime  |  van breda murders

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