De Zalze: 'I am torn in two. I don’t know what took place that night'

25 May 2017

A close friend of the Van Breda family describes how they feel about the De Zalze trial.

“It’s a nightmare."

Those are the words used by a close friend of the Van Breda family, when describing the De Zalze trial, which is currently being heard in the Cape Town High Court.

The friend, who spoke exclusively to YOU, has known Henri and his family for many years.

Henri faces charges of murder and attempted murder. His parents, Martin (54) and Teresa (55), and his older brother Rudi (22) were gruesomely killed with an axe on 27 January 2016. His sister, Marli, sustained serious head injuries during the attack but survived.

“I am torn in two. I don’t know what took place that night. The only thing I do know is that he couldn’t have done that.”

Read more: Van Breda State witness: ‘Blood ran down the stairs like a waterfall’

He said it’s equally as difficult for Henri’s family.

“Most of the family wholeheartedly supports him. We all agree – he is a loving and soft-spoken child; he simply does not have it within him.

“There are family members who haven’t given their support, who just said, ‘we’ll pray for him’. That, for me, is sad but I don’t blame them.”

The family friend revealed that the Van Breda household was a close-knit one and that the case has given him restless nights.

Read more: LISTEN: Full emergency calls between Henri van Breda and dispatchers

Occasionally, he still speaks to Henri.

"Of course, it’s a difficult experience for him. But it’s evident when you look at how he walks around at court – he is full of confidence. He doesn’t hide and knows he has nothing to hide.”

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