Proceedings were short today at the Van Breda trial as the Defence’s first witness, forensic expert Dr. Olckers, completed her testimony.
After touching again on the undocumented expiration dates of the Hemastix tests (explained in our coverage yesterday), the witness told the court that more than 80 per cent, or 128 of the 151 samples analysed, were considered invalid due to lack of procedure followed. In her professional and widely experienced opinion, only 23 of these samples were considered valid.
Dr. Olckers then described an unexplainable occurrence that stunned the court, which is that Marli van Breda’s DNA was nowhere to be found on the axe – despite the victim being attacked with it. Advocate Combrink was quick to question this and asked the expert why she thought this was the case. Olckers told the court that she is not a pathologist nor a blood spatter expert and is unable to answer the question, as it would be better suited for a professional’s opinion in that field. We believe that the next witness to be called by the Defence is a forensic pathologist, so we can expect to hear more on this when the trial resumes on Monday, 16th October.
While the State advised they need time to prepare to test the witness, once again Advocate Botha stressed the fact that his client is running out of funding, noting that with each passing day this matter is becoming critical. Judge Desai briefly adjourned the court to rule in favour of the State’s need for time to prepare for cross-examination, which will commence on Monday.
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Photography K-leigh Siebritz / HM Images