AS IT HAPPENED: Early adjournment in Van Breda murder trial

2017-10-30 09:34

Day 53 of the ongoing murder trial of Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court was cut short for Judge Siraj Desai to deliberate on whether or not to allow video cameras in court when Van Breda himself takes to the stand to testify.

 - For the latest updates, follow News24 reporter Tammy Petersen: @TammyPetersen87

WATCH LIVE: Van Breda Trial - Day 53 


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Last Updated at 20:07
30 Oct 10:52

Court adjourns until 10:00 tomorrow morning.

Advocate Botha has repeatedly expressed reservations about allowing the live stream to continue with Henri van Breda in the stand. 

30 Oct 10:49

30 Oct 10:49

Advocate Botha and Judge Desai are discussing the merits of allowing the live stream to continue when Van Breda takes to the stand. 

30 Oct 10:47

30 Oct 10:45

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30 Oct 10:38

30 Oct 10:38

Henri van Breda to testify in triple murder trial 

Triple murder accused Henri Van Breda will testify in his defence in the Western Cape High Court on Monday morning. 

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

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

Judge Siraj 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. 

30 Oct 10:28

30 Oct 10:22

WATCH: Van Breda Trial - Day 53 (The start of this morning's proceedings) 

30 Oct 10:17

Judge Siraj Desai has requested a 30 minute adjournment to think about whether or not to let Van Breda testify - says this is an unusual matter. 

30 Oct 10:13

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30 Oct 09:35


Five attempted security breaches in his tenure, says former De Zalze manager 

Five attempts were made to breach security measures at the De Zalze Estate, two years before the Van Breda murders, a previous security manager testified in the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

Jaco Pietersen, who was employed prior to the appointment of current manager Marcia Rossouw, said that one attempt was assumed to be successful as an intruder cut a hole in the electric fencing.

The square, estimated to be about 500mm big, was only discovered two hours later, and the suspect was never spotted by the security cameras. The alarm, however, sounded twice before the discovery was made, he recalled, possibly when the person entered and exited. 

Pietersen worked for Thorburn Security Solutions for a year until February 2014, when the post became a position filled by the estate.

He applied for this position but Rossouw was chosen to fill it.

Pietersen testified about another incident where a man was spotted at the perimeter fence by a security camera. 

30 Oct 09:35


Van Breda neighbour heard nothing as 3 people were hacked to death 

While three people were being hacked to death two doors away, a neighbour says she didn't hear anything out of the ordinary, the Western Cape High Court heard on Tuesday.

Annelize Taljaard, a mother of three who lived two doors away from the Van Bredas' home in De Zalze Estate, Stellenbosch, described herself as a light sleeper, and said would wake up if she heard loud laughter coming from a party as the luxury homes were situated very close together.

Taljaard, the defence's third witness, explained that sound carries within the estate and any noise would be reported to security.

She was testifying in the murder trial of Henri van Breda who is accused of killing his mother, Teresa, his father, Martin, and brother Rudi. 

30 Oct 09:35


Van Breda faking his blackout is possible - expert 

The possibility of Henri van Breda fabricating that he passed out for two hours and 40 minutes cannot be ruled out, his defence’s second expert witness testified in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.

Neurosurgeon Dr Michael du Trevou, during cross examination by prosecutor Susan Galloway, said it was impossible to exclude malingering.

He also conceded that losing consciousness for two hours and 40 minutes, and recovering on one’s own, was unlikely but that a post-traumatic amnesiac period was possible. 

Photos of Van Breda after the 2015 attack on his family were also analysed. Du Trevou pointed out his black eye and some bruising under both his eyes.

The injuries were not severe, he said, but brain injury could be without bruising and may not translate to head injuries. 

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