Henri van Breda to testify in triple murder trial

2017-10-30 10:32
Henri van Breda is charged with multiple counts of murder. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Henri van Breda is charged with multiple counts of murder. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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LIVE STREAM: Van Breda trial, day 53

2017-10-30 10:16

The Van Breda family murder trial continues in the Western Cape High Court on Monday. Watch the live stream. WATCH

Cape Town - Triple murder accused Henri van Breda will testify in his defence in the Western Cape High Court, it emerged on Monday morning.

His defence advocate Pieter Botha told Judge Siraj Desai that his client had instructed him that he wished to take the stand.

Van Breda suffers from a speech impediment and stutters under pressure. He asked that Desai not allow his testimony to be broadcast.

Desai said it was an unusual request, and asked for 30 minutes to consider it. He then adjourned proceedings until Tuesday morning.

- Follow the Live Update

Van Breda last month lost an application to allow him to testify last, after his expert witnesses.

Judge Desai ruled he had not shown good cause why the court should deviate from standard procedure which dictates that an accused testify first.

Should he not testify, Van Breda’s version given in his plea explanation will not be considered as evidence.

Following Desai's dismissal of Van Breda's application last month, Botha said his client has decided not to take the stand.

In terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, an accused may later decide to testify, but Desai in his ruling pointed out the court may "draw inferences" should this happen.

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 the De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch 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.

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

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