AS IT HAPPENED: Henri van Breda handed 3 life sentences for triple axe murder of family

2018-06-07 11:00

Convicted murderer Henri van Breda has been sentenced to three life terms in prison by Judge Siraj Desai in the Western Cape High Court.

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

WATCH LIVE: Henri van Breda sentenced for triple axe murder

Convicted murderer Henri van Breda

Jump to

Last Updated at 13:05
07 Jun 11:29

07 Jun 11:22

07 Jun 11:17

07 Jun 11:08

07 Jun 11:06

Count 1 is for the murder of Rudi van Breda (life sentence), Count 2 is for the murder of Martin van Breda (life sentence), Count 3 is for the murder of Teresa van Breda (life sentence), Count 4 is for the attempted murder of Marli van Breda (15 year sentence) and Count 5 is for obstructing the course of justice (12 months imprisonment).

07 Jun 11:00

07 Jun 10:57

Judge Desai hands down the sentence: Count 1 - life, Count 2 - life, Count 3 - life, Count 4 - 15 years, and Count 5 - 12 months imprisonment.

07 Jun 10:56

Desai: "You have displayed no remorse..." Desai also says there has still been no explanation for his actions.

"Although you are relatively young, and with no previous convictions, your conduct warrants the severest penalty."

07 Jun 10:51

Desai: "These attacks display a high level of innate cruelty..."

07 Jun 10:51

Desai says the attacks were graphic and gruesome, as detailed in the autopsy reports. Now detailing the fatal injuries sustained by Van Breda's father, mother, and brother, as well as the injuries sustained by his sister, Marli.

07 Jun 10:47

Desai says the fact that Van Breda has no prior convictions counts in his favour. Mentions the fact that Van Breda was 20 years old at the time of the murders.

07 Jun 10:44

Desai begins proceedings: "Despite the horrific events underpinning your convictions, Mr Breda, the sentences I intend imposing must be, and are, the product of sober, unemotional and considered deliberation..."

07 Jun 10:42

Judge Desai has now entered the courtroom.

07 Jun 10:41

Convicted murderer Henri van Breda during sentencing proceedings in the Western Cape High Court. (Jaco Marais/Gallo Images)

07 Jun 10:29

Van Breda was found guilty of murdering his parents and brother, attempting to kill his sister and obstructing the course of justice.

Judge Desai made it clear he considered the crimes to have been premeditated, as Van Breda would have had to arm himself before bludgeoning Rudi, Martin, and Teresa to death and trying to murder Marli.

Premeditated murder carries a prescribed sentence of life imprisonment.

07 Jun 10:25

Once Van Breda's sentence is handed down by Judge Desai, he will have 14 days to apply for leave to appeal the ruling.

07 Jun 10:08

Henri van Breda has arrived in court, ahead of his sentencing.

07 Jun 09:56


How Judge Desai will determine Henri van Breda's sentence 

We often celebrate or, at times, are outraged by the sentences given to offenders for their crimes. As a public, we're either satisfied that the punishment fits the crime, or convinced that justice has failed us. However, how jail time is determined in South Africa depends on various factors. 

Last month, convicted "axe murderer" Henri van Breda was found guilty of murdering his parents and brother, and of the attempted murder of his sister, in a trial that made headlines around the world. Van Breda was also charged with one count of obstructing justice for staging the crime scene and inflicting wounds on himself to make it look like he had been a victim in the attack. 

Trial judge Siraj Desai is no novice when it comes to handing down sentences in criminal matters. In fact, he has presided over many high-profile criminal cases, most notably the 2009 murder trial of Najwa Petersen, who he sent to jail for 28 years for murdering her husband, musician Taliep Petersen.

07 Jun 09:56


'Put forward some reason for the attacks' – Judge Desai to Van Breda defence 

Axe murderer Henri van Breda appeared unmoved as Judge Siraj Desai appealed to his defence to give a "human factor" to the defence's appeal for leniency in light of the "grotesque nature" of his crimes.

But all advocate Pieter Botha could offer was that his client had no previous convictions and had been young at the time of the brutal killings.

Proceedings lasted just over an hour in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday, where the State and Van Breda's legal teams offered aggravating and mitigating factors to be considered ahead of the 23-year-old's sentencing.

07 Jun 09:56

WATCH: Judge Siraj Desai delivers damning Van Breda judgment

Jump to


Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.