Van Breda trial postponed for a month

2017-03-27 16:01
Henri van Breda  (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Henri van Breda (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – Henri van Breda will have to wait another month to offer his plea explanation regarding charges that he killed his parents and older brother with an axe.

When he appeared briefly in the Western Cape High Court on Monday afternoon, the State asked for more time to speak to witnesses and attend to evidence.

Prosecutor Susan Galloway said she needed to speak to witnesses who did not want to be recorded while testifying.

The court had granted an order to Media24 on Monday morning, allowing the trial to be live-streamed, but later suspended the order pending imminent appeals by the defence and State to a higher court.

Van Breda, dressed in a suit, appeared expressionless through proceedings.

He faces three counts of murder, one of attempted murder, and one of obstructing the course of justice.

His parents, Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55, and his brother Rudi, 22, were killed with an axe in their home on the luxury De Zalze golf estate in Stellenbosch in the early hours of Tuesday, January 27, 2015.

His lawyer Pieter Botha said they were ready for trial.

"We have drafted a plea explanation. If there is one person willing to have his say, it’s my client."

He said a large amount of the State’s evidence had to do with experts.

Photographic evidence

The defence only received two DNA reports in March, one of which dealt with the murder weapon used in the attack.

Botha said additional DNA reports were still outstanding.

The defence had consulted with its own experts. It required original photos, and not pdfs, from the State.

"Certain photos need to be zoomed in and enhanced. We have requested it some time ago and are still waiting for it."

Outside court, Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson said their application for leave to appeal the media order would take place next week, possibly in the Supreme Court of Appeal.

He said nearly all of their witnesses had indicated that they did not want to testify in front of cameras.

If the appeal was not successful, they intended taking a list of the witnesses’ concerns to presiding Judge Siraj Desai so he could make a call.

The order that was granted allowed parties to approach the court for any variation or amendment where warranted.

The start of his trial was postponed until April 24.

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

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