Henri Van Breda cut a sullen, solitary figure on the bench today as the better part of day four’s proceedings were spent observing the defence, led by Advocate Botha, cross-examine Sergeant Kleynhans. However, Van Breda became increasingly animated as proceedings went on.

A big talking point was the property’s back door and the state of it being ajar or not upon Kleynhans’ arrival to the scene. As proceedings unravelled today, Advocate Botha focused on inconsistencies between his evidence given under oath and his written statement, in which he had noted that the door was open, but in court he testified that the door was slightly ajar.

The defence then pushed for a reason why he omitted to say that that the door was only slightly open in his statement, to which Kleyhans was unable to respond and admitted that he should have noted it in his statement. He concluded that he opened the back door a bit further with his elbow, despite earlier acknowledging how important it was to the court that nothing at the scene was moved.

 

The next intriguing point of discussion was blood. It was clear that there was a lot more of it present at the scene that what Kleynhans had noticed or remembered. The defence went on to exhibit photographic evidence of various instances of blood marks, drops and stains that must have been hard not to notice.

Day four’s final course of action was the evidence-in-chief and cross-examination of Lorenzo Afrika, an employee of Thorburn security who was on duty at De Zalze on the night of the murders. Firstly, Advocate Galloway, for the State, questioned his knowledge of the estate’s security, from gates and perimeter fences to alarms and geo-cache responder systems. Afrika was confident in this, going on to state the sensitivity of the fence’s alarm – which had even been triggered by the presence of frogs on previous occasions. Afrika further testified that he had checked the perimeter fence five times while on duty the day before the murders.

Then it was the defence’s turn, with Advocate Botha’s co-counsel Advocate Crombrink taking the reigns in cross-examination and immediately questioning Afrika’s technical understanding of the estate’s security technology used.

Advocate Crombrink attempted to go into detail with Afrika on the type of security fence fitted to the perimeter and ways the triggering of the alarm system could be avoided, unfortunately Afrika did not have the knowledge to respond owing to his role as responder but the defence will lead expert evidence of this possibility later on in the trial. Afrika could confirm that prior to the murders taking place, there were 44 security cameras installed throughout the estate.

It is now expected that the defence will lead expert evidence as to how somebody could have gotten over the fence. The trial resumes tomorrow at 10am.

Photography Justin Williams

Article written by

Justin

Justin Williams is a born-and-bred Capetonian with a flair for writing. His icons include the late South African authors Lawrence Green, Eric Rosenthal and T.V. Bulpin, literary figures who continuously inspire him to cover the avenues of lifestyle, travel and nature in a local context. When he's not covering a story, Justin can be found in the mountains - he's a renowned wild food forager and herbalism student.