Van Breda trial to start without livestreaming

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Henri van Breda leaves the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)
Henri van Breda leaves the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Cape Town – Both the State and murder accused Henri van Breda’s legal team intend appealing the Western Cape High Court’s decision on Monday to allow his trial to be livestreamed, with conditions.

Pieter Botha, for Van Breda, said they would apply for urgent leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA).

The State, also considering approaching the SCA or Constitutional Court, was concerned about the intimidation of legal teams.

Judge Siraj Desai said there was no real prospect of jeopardy to the trial.

After hearing arguments, he suspended his order, to allow video cameras and still photography, until after Monday’s proceedings.

Conditions

On Friday, he heard an urgent application from Media24 for permission to share the proceedings via its internet platforms, so the public could follow the trial.

This would be similar to the live broadcast of the trial of former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius.

He had initially granted permission on Monday morning to record and/or broadcast the proceedings, with conditions.

No exhibits would be allowed to be recorded or photographed. Media would also not be allowed to photograph or record Van Breda’s sister Marli without prior consent.

Botha argued that the digital publisher should have lodged its application timeously.

The State and Van Breda's lawyers had opposed the application, arguing it could alter witness testimony, or intimidate witnesses while they testify.

Experts could suffer reputational damage if the public tore their performances to shreds, they argued.

Postponement application

Van Breda’s trial would start at 14:15.

While he was expected to enter a plea, the defence intended applying for a postponement, for various reasons, until April 24.

Van Breda 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. Marli, who was 16 at the time, was critically injured, but survived.

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