The much-anticipated axe murder trial got off to a slow start at the Western Cape High Court this morning following an urgent application on Friday by Media24 to live stream the proceedings.
The 22-year old Henri Van Breda is accused of murdering his mother, father and brother, and attempting to murder his sister Marli with an axe in their family home in Kleine Zalze security estate in Stellenbosch. He has also been charged with defeating the ends of justice. The attacks took place more than two years ago.
Van Breda turned himself into police 17 months after the brutal incident and faces charges of murder for the alleged axe attack, a charge of attempted murder for allegedly attacking his sister, and a charge for defeating the ends of justice.
His legal team, Lorinda van Niekerk and Advocate Pieter Botha arrived in court shortly before Judge Desai, the presiding officer, delivered his order in favour of the Media Streaming Application. There was no sign of the accused as the State Prosector, Susan Galloway, and Advocate Botha agreed the criminal matter would not be called until 2:15 pm.
Judge Desai was asked to dispose of what has become known as the Media Streaming Application before the criminal matter could be called. Additionally, the defense is awaiting DNA reports from the state as well as JPEG photographs by which time the media application should be finalised. The trial has been postponed until 24 April 2017.
It seems we’re in for the long haul as confirmed by Judge Desai when he warned both legal teams that he was not going to take applications for postponements during this trial lightly and stressed the importance of ensuring the accused has a speedy trial.
What are your thoughts on the media live stream application? Should the public be allowed to watch the trial? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter. Read more on today’s trial with coverage by legal expert and counsel for Highbury Media, Tracey Ann Stewart, here.
Photography Getty Images