Henri van Breda fast running out of funds - defence

2017-08-21 12:14
Henri van Breda during an earlier court appearance. (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24, file)

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

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Cape Town - Henri van Breda is fast running out of funds, his defence lawyer told the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

This came after the State asked for another postponement as their expert witness was still booked off due to illness.

SAPS blood spatter analyst Captain Marius Joubert was expected to take to the stand in the Western Cape High Court on Monday, after the State told Judge Siraj Desai last week that he had taken ill.

Advocate Pieter Botha, for Van Breda, said his client could not afford another postponement, as he was running out of funds.

"The case is costing him a lot," he pointed out to Desai.

AS IT HAPPENED: Van Breda trial postponed, bail extended

Expecting Joubert to take to the stand, the defence had flown in their expert, Cobus Steyl from KwaZulu-Natal. He was in court last week when Joubert's testimony was initially put on hold.

The State couldn't help that Joubert was ill, the nature of which was shared with Desai in chambers, prosecutor Susan Galloway argued.

But the witness's indisposition was also not his client's fault, Botha responded.

Case postponed

Desai said the situation was not the fault of the State, and that he had to consider the interests of justice, as well as Van Breda's right to a fair trial.

He granted the postponement, with court resuming on September 11.

Marli van Breda, the only other surviving family member, will not testify for the State in the triple murder trial of her brother.

READ: Henri van Breda's axe man has never been found - cop

Although Marli, who is now 18 years old, was included on its witness list, she will not testify as she has not regained her memory.

She has not yet been seen attending the trial.

She has retrograde amnesia and cannot recall anything about the attack.

She and Henri saw each other again six months after the murders, and following his arrest in June 2016. Her legal representative and curator Louise Buikman said the news had been "very distressing" for the teenager.

Investigating officer Marlon Appollis was the State's penultimate witness, and on Wednesday told the court that no-one matching the description Henri had given of the balaclava-clad axe man, who he claimed had killed his family, had ever been found.

He said police were generally aware of the usual suspects involved in burglaries in an area. However, nobody could give any workable information about the "big" intruder Van Breda claimed had attacked his parents and siblings.

Two weeks ago, chief forensic analyst Lieutenant-Colonel Sharlene Otto testified for four days, telling the court of her findings following the analysis of 216 DNA samples collected from the scene of the brutal murders at De Zalze Estate.

READ: Van Breda defence zooms in on unsealed evidence bag

No unknown DNA found

DNA belonging to Rudi and Teresa van Breda was found under Henri's fingernails, and in a corner of the shower.

No unknown DNA was found in the family's luxury De Zalze Estate home, she told the court.

Van Breda, 22, pleaded not guilty to axing his parents and brother to death, seriously injuring his sister Marli, and defeating the ends of justice.

He alleged that an intruder wearing a balaclava, gloves and dark clothes was behind the attack, and that he had heard other voices of people speaking Afrikaans in their home in January 2015.

Van Breda claimed that, after a fight with the axe-wielding intruder who was also armed with a knife, the man had escaped.

Otto said dad Martin van Breda's right-hand nail scrapings showed Rudi's DNA, while a swab taken from the handle of the knife used in the attack - which comes from the family's kitchen - only matched Rudi.

The number of samples submitted from 12 Goske Street was far more than what they would usually receive, but despite the high cost of running so many submissions through its systems, as well as the time needed to do this alongside dealing with other cases, all of the samples were tested, she said.

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

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