Henri van Breda stood down from the witness stand today as Advocate Pieter Botha concluded his re-examination. Henri stands accused of killing three members of his family and seriously injuring his sister, at their home at De Zalze Golf Estate in Stellenbosch.

Botha asked Henri a few more high-level details regarding the estate security and who had attacked his sister Marli. He testified that he did not know how the alleged attackers had entered or left De Zalze Estate following the attacks, nor did he know who attacked his sister.

Before the triple-murder accused stood down, Judge Siraj Desai had a few questions of his own. He asked why there were blood spots on Henri’s shoes at the bottom of the flight of stairs? Henri said that he presumed they were next to the pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs, and the blood was from spatters just like other surrounding objects as pointed out in a photographic exhibit, which Botha brought to the court’s attention.

Desai also pointed out that his father Martin van Breda may have saved the family had he instead gone around the bed to apprehend the attacker, rather than making a bee-line for him. Henri defended this point by saying that his late father tried to save his under-attack son by trying to get in between the two. An interesting observation he made was that it must be difficult to handle an axe while wearing gloves. Henri wasn’t able to provide an answer to this.

Botha then told the court that he has one further witness to call to the stand – a psychologist. The van Breda trial resumes on Monday, 13 November.

Photography Sean Dollery / HM Images

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