Henri van Breda’s girlfriend of two years, Danielle Janse van Rensburg, has finally broken her silence on his conviction and sentencing. Henri was found guilty of savagely hacking to death his father Martin, his mother Teresa and his brother Rudi, and attempting to kill his sister Marli, at their luxury De Zalze Estate home in Stellenbosch on January 27, 2015.
The gruesome murders left the world shocked. Janse van Rensburg remained silent during Henri’s trial, but supported him throughout. After several requests for her version of the story, she broke her silence recently during an interview with Liz Hayes, host of Australian TV show, 60 Minutes.
Janse van Rensburg wanted to clarify rumours circulating about Henri being on tik when the murders occurred, “Its not true at all” – she said with a giggle.
When questioned about whether Henri had seen a film or documentary featuring an axe-wielding murderer she explained it away.
“No, we thought that someone else may have when we saw the evidence at first. But when it was explained to us, it was just one of the scheduled programs on TV at the time that the TV was switched on.”
“That night they watched Star Trek,” she added, even though they were not dating at the time.
She also addressed the rumours that van Breda was suffering from a brain tumour at the time of the murders, saying that a “water cyst” had been found instead of a tumour.
“His friend was doing a study – I think it was a neurology study, I’m not sure. I think it might even have been on depression, and he just got a brain scan taken for that,” she explained. “They found a little something on the scan. I think it was a little water cyst or something. Nothing dangerous.”
Janse van Rensburg said that people saying that her boyfriend is emotionless was the “most annoying rumour”.
“Even though this was raised in court, a lot of people display emotion differently. I mean, if you look at the previous cases like Oscar Pistorius, he doesn’t cry. He’s also emotionless. If he does cry, he’s just putting on an act.”
She added that Henri had this at the back of his mind, and decided it would be better if he displayed no emotion at all, as this would not give anyone anything to use against him.
“They don’t know him. I can see him, and he was trying so hard to hold back his tears.”
When Hayes questioned why Henri was falling asleep while the verdict was handed down. Janse van Rensburg said she had given him a sleeping pill the day before.
“I gave him a sleeping pill the night before,” Janse van Rensburg said. “He had been struggling to sleep the previous two nights, and we just hoped that he would have a proper sleep.”
She suspected that the sleeping pill was still in van Breda’s system in court.
When Hayes asked when the most shocking or irritating moment of the trial was, she pinpointed the time when he was asked to re-enact what happened at the murder scene.
“Watching him re-enact the fight with the axe was very shocking to me,” she said.
She is confident in van Breda’s appeal, saying that she knows that one day he will be free.
“I trust his lawyers,” she said. “I do believe that there is not enough evidence.”
When Hayes asked Janse van Rensburg thought that the outcome of the trial was “a gross misconduct of justice”, she agreed.
Watch the full interview: