Henri van Breda’s defense team said he is not remorseful over the deaths of his family members because he did not kill them, in the Western Cape High Court today, during his sentencing.
“My client shows no remorse because he maintains his innocence and I cannot take it further than that‚” said his defense lawyer Advocate Pieter Botha.
Botha is clearly preparing his appeal application as he alluded to this by raising the fact that pre-meditation/planning in every murder was not clear from Judge Desai’s judgment, for instance, quoting the judgment that said “Martin was almost heroic throwing himself over Rudi”- surely this means that Martin’s murder was not planned?
The judge dismissed this as an incorrect inference and confirmed that he had found that it was clear that the murders were all pre-meditated. That, coupled with the lack of evidence produced by the defence at this hearing is a clear sign that we can expect them to appeal the convictions.
Another interesting note was family support, Martin’s twin brothers André van Breda and Bailey van Breda were in court today, waving at Henri as he descended the stairs. His girlfriend Danielle Janse van Rensburg embraced Henri’s uncles and aunts when she arrived, looking far more up beat than she did at the judgement.
Marli, met with the states team to discuss her statement, but requested that it not be handed in at court.
The court heard that Marli’s life will never be the same, she must live without a family, knowing that her brother killed them all and tried to kill her. A statement which the state gave on her behalf and one which Marli did not want to include in a report as evidence in this hearing, against her brother. It is apparent that Henri’s family and his defence team aren’t as convinced of his guilt as the court.
Henri, 23, was found guilty axing 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. He has also been found guilty of obstructing the ends of justice.
Botha brought up the issue of Henri being assaulted in prison, and State Prosecuter, Advocate Susan Galloway, confirmed that the incident did happened. His foot was hurt but he was not seriously injured and they placed on record that he didn’t attempt to commit suicide. Botha appealed that fair punishment should be robust but mostly it must be balanced.
Galloway referred to the interests of society, saying that sentencing too lightly can be just as bad as sentencing too heavily.
Desai asked for a few days to consider the appropriate sentence, he will deliver sentence at 10am on Thursday 7 June 2018.