Entry onto De Zalze estate is possible, defence argues

2017-04-26 17:07
Defence lawyer Lorinda van Niekerk shows how one may get access to former Van Breda house. (Nick Pawson, News24)

Defence lawyer Lorinda van Niekerk shows how one may get access to former Van Breda house. (Nick Pawson, News24)

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WATCH: Judge Desai inspects former Van Breda family home

2017-04-25 16:05

An in loco inspection took place at the De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch on Tuesday, on day two of the Van Breda family murder trial. Judge Siraj Desai led a convey to the scene where the brutal axe attack took place in January 2015. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - The windows in the Van Breda family's former dining room are big enough to climb through, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

Advocate Pieter Botha, for triple murder accused Henri van Breda, said the windows had been open at its maximum and that entry was possible as there are no burglar bars.

Notes of the in loco inspection which took place at the luxury De Zalze Estate on Tuesday were handed in as an exhibit on Wednesday.

The white double storey house was the murder scene of husband and wife Martin and Teresa and their oldest son, Rudi. Their daughter, Marli, sustained serious head injuries, but survived.

Judge Siraj Desai on Tuesday led the convoy, which drew curious neighbours from their homes and others to peep through their curtains to see the happenings at 12 Goske Street.

Security cameras

The estate is equipped with electric fencing and cameras.

According to Botha, it would be possible for someone to climb over the fence and onto or out of the estate via the gate leading to the neighbouring airfield.

Wooden posts support the fence and it is about 2m high. Its bottom, the document reads, consists of a concrete base to ensure it cannot be dug under.

The perimeter fence extends across but not through the river which runs through the estate, but security cameras are positioned at the two locations.

Henri, the couple's middle child, is on trial for the axe attack which took place at the luxury estate on January 27, 2015.

He has pleaded not guilty to three charges of murder, to one of attempted murder and to one of obstruction of justice.

Henri, in his plea explanation read out in court on Monday, claimed an intruder in dark clothes, wearing gloves and a balaclava, hacked his parents to death that morning.

He said he heard the intruder speaking Afrikaans and claimed that after a tussle with the axe-wielding man, he escaped.

Police said they found no sign of forced entry.


The estate's management and security initially refused to let journalists onto the property for the in loco inspection, but eventually allowed them to attend proceedings outside the house.

Their defence lawyer Lorinda van Niekerk demonstrated how easy it was to access the Van Breda house. She easily scaled a wall and gate.

Blood droplets were also noted in photo evidence near one of the side gates, and was found on the wall of an adjacent property. This wall is opposite the room in which Rudi was hacked to death.

The former Van Breda house is 1.2km from the estate's main gate.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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

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