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Verdict in Van Breda case to be postponed

The verdict in the triple murder trial of Henri van Breda is expected to be postponed in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Van Breda was expected to hear his fate before Judge Siraj Desai on April 23.

National Prosecuting Authority Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila confirmed on Monday that Van Breda would appear for a postponement to a later date.

Van Breda, 23, pleaded not guilty to axing his parents and brother to death, seriously injuring his sister Marli, and defeating the ends of justice.

He alleged that an intruder, wearing a balaclava, gloves and dark clothing, was behind the attack, and that he had heard other voices, of people speaking Afrikaans, in the family’s Stellenbosch home in January 2015.

Van Breda claimed that after a fight with the axe-wielding intruder who was also armed with a knife, the man had escaped.

The totality of the evidence against Van Breda did not exclude the possibility of an unknown assailant, defence advocate Pieter Botha insisted during closing arguments in February, saying it was up to the court to decide whether the State produced evidence which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that there were no unidentified attackers.

But prosecutor Susan Galloway argued that there was no motive for someone, such as a hitman, to go to the Van Breda family’s De Zalze Golf Estate home and commit this crime. She said the attack was premeditated, pointing out that Van Breda would have had to arm himself before making his way to the second floor of the house to execute the murders.

Circumstantial evidence pointed to Van Breda being the attacker, Galloway maintained, and that his injuries were self-inflicted or inflicted by his family members during the attack. DM

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