Henri van Breda giggled when he phoned emergency service - operator

2017-05-17 15:11
Henri van Breda arriving at court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Henri van Breda arriving at court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town - Murder accused Henri van Breda giggled when he phoned emergency services on the morning of his family's murder, an emergency operator told the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday morning.

Emergency operator Janine Philander said she heard Van Breda giggling at the start of the phone call.

"It still sounds like a slight giggle," she said.

In audio recordings of the phone calls, Philander can be heard asking Van Breda if he is alone.

She told the court that people usually made prank calls when they are alone.

"To me it sounded like someone hesitant to even make the call," she said.

LISTEN: Full emergency call between Henri van Breda and dispatchers


Philander told the court that Van Breda came across as calm when he phoned.

"When something life-threatening happens to you, you are going to scream; shout. When I get back to you, you are going to want my job," she said.

"Victims don't allow you to play with their time."

LIVE: Henri breaks down in court as emergency call is played

Advocate Pieter Botha, for Van Breda, said that Van Breda is now accused of sounding guilty for being polite.

"I can put it to you, my client as a child stuttered. He had to receive speech therapy. One can quite clearly hear him stutter," he said.

In the recordings, it can be heard how Van Breda repeatedly gives the address of his family home.

He gives a second address as he was afraid the first might not show up on Google Maps.

In the call, he offers to stand in the road to meet them.


Philander told the court when someone calls, they don't want to hear that you can't find them.

"They tell you: 'You are going to find me where ever I am. I am not going to wait [anywhere else],'" she said.

"When people phone in, they ask things like 'What must I do?'"

In the phone call, Van Breda asks for multiple ambulances.

"A man attacked my whole family. My sister is moving. I don't think the rest are alive," he said.

The phone call lasted roughly 25 minutes for an ambulance to be dispatched.

Judge Siraj Desai told Philander that her testimony is an opinion and not evidence. He said the court will decide if it is evidence or not.

Van Breda, who is on trial for axing his parents and brother to death in their home in January 2015, was seen crying while the phone recordings were played.

The court briefly adjourned when Van Breda was overcome with emotion.

The trial continues.

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

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