Mystery surrounds alarm and patrol noted on De Zalze security report

2017-05-04 14:49
Henri van Breda (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Henri van Breda (File, Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - A former De Zalze Estate security guard on Thursday testified he was not aware of any alarms that went off the night of the Van Breda axe murders in 2015.

Edgar Wyngaard, who worked at the estate for around a year, said nothing unusual was reported or spotted that night, nor on camera footage afterward.

Defence lawyer Matthys Combrink referred him to a report by Thorburn Security, which is responsible for security at the estate.

The report apparently stated that alarms on the perimeter fence were activated three times - once after 19:00, again after 01:00 and, finally, after 03:00.

Combrink said the alarm at 01:37 was in zone 39 and the report had noted that someone had gone on patrol at 01:41.

Wyngaard said it was not him.

AS IT HAPPENED: 'It is impossible to get into the estate' says security supervisor at Van Breda Trial

Strict security measures

On Wednesday, security guard and first responder Lorenzo Afrika also testified that there were no alarm activations that he knew of during his shift, and if there were any, he wasn't aware or informed of them.

He maintained that he was never dispatched on the night, as the alarm had never been activated.

The court heard that the two men had been responsible for patrolling around 7.5km of fence on the night shift.

Henri van Breda, 22, has pleaded not guilty to charges of axing his parents Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55, and brother Rudi, 22, to death, attempting to murder his younger sister Marli, and defeating the ends of justice.

He alleges an intruder attacked the family in their home on the estate, in Stellenbosch, in the early hours of January 27, 2015.

Wyngaard's testimony revolved around the strict security measures in place at the upmarket estate. These included electric fences, bloodhound patrols and registration processes for visitors.

He conceded under cross-examination that people who used an access card to enter the estate were not questioned or searched. The same applied to their passengers.

Combrink referred to a number of criminal incidents that occurred at the estate between 2013 and 2015.

Furniture and appliances were stolen in one case. In another, there was theft from the golf clubhouse.

The suspect may have been from a removal company, but no arrests were made.

In December 2014, a housebreaking and theft was registered. There were no fingerprints or signs of forced entry.

Combrink said this was attributed to an "undetected suspect".

Wyngaard was not aware of the incidents. He said residents sometimes reported them directly to police.

He was asked how someone would have been able to gain entry. The State objected, saying he could not speculate when he was not aware of the incidents.

"We know it's physically possible to get inside," Combrink remarked.

Wyngaard was allowed to leave the stand.

Prosecutor Susan Galloway asked for a postponement so they could deal with video footage for the next witness.

The trial was postponed until Monday.

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

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