We’ve entered the fourth week of the van Breda murder trial. Day 15 focused on testimony from a new witness who took to the stand – Dr. Michelle van Zyl.

Last week we heard that the wounds Henri van Breda had sustained from the alleged attacker were ‘superficial’ and ‘typical of self-inflicted injuries.’ Today’s testimony from Dr. van Zyl, ex-employee of the Vergelegen Mediclinic, revealed that she had examined Henri van Breda on January 27th, 2015 at 20:45 pm, the night after the murders. He arrived, apparently calm and talkative, to find out if stitches were required on his stab wound. We learned from Dr. van Zyl that they were not needed for Henri’s apparent stab wound as it wasn’t deep enough to warrant this procedure. Instead, staples were applied – typically used for smaller cuts to bring the skin together for healing. Dr. van Zyl mentioned that James Jean-Reade had accompanied him to the Mediclinic and that Henri’s breath smelled of alcohol.

Henri was discharged by Dr. van Zyl, only to come back to the Mediclinic later that night, with a much less friendly demeanour and acting quite blunt, she declared. Henri arrived alone without James this time around, having been remitted back to the Vergelegen Mediclinic by police with the purpose to draw blood for a drug and alcohol test. Dr. van Zyl admitted that these results tested negative, but were taken more than 12 hours after he had phoned emergency services. She did not prescribe any form of medication for Henri after his second visit and concluded that he showed no signs of a concussion.

An expert pathologist, summoned by the defence council, is expected to be present at Day 16. Follow Tracey Stewart on Twitter for live updates from the trial.

 

Photography K-Leigh Siebritz / HM Images

Article written by

Tracey Ann Stewart

Legal expert and counsel for Highbury Media