Axe murder-accused Henri van Breda back in court


South African murder accused Henri van Breda arrives at the high court in the city of Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

JOHANNESBURG – The trial against axe murder-accused Henri van Breda resumes in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

He faces three charges of murder, one of attempted murder and one of defeating the ends of justice after allegedly hacking to death his mother, father and brother, and seriously injuring his sister.

On September 18, the State’s final witness, bloodstain analyst Captain Marius Joubert told the court that there were no signs of a second axe being used on Marli Van Breda on the night her brother and parents were murdered in their family home in the security estate de Zalze in Stellenbosch.

Henri van Breda claims a fleeing intruder would have left a trail of drip marks from the bloodied object, but there were no signs of blood to support that theory.

He was set to take the stand earlier this week, but his defence wants to call expert witnesses first. 

READ: Marli van Breda's blood not on axe: defence

Marli, who was 16-years-old at the time of the January 2015 attacks, was struck eight times with an axe. The state believes it was the same axe used to murder her parents and brother. But, her brother 22-year-old Henri van Breda, who is on trial for the murders claims an intruder, possibly more than one, was behind the attacks.

None of Marli’s blood was found on the axe used to kill parents Teresa and Martin, and brother Rudi. Joubert said the fact that none of her blood was found on the murder weapon was inexplicable.

Furthermore, her blood was not found on Henri’s socks or shorts, unlike the blood from the other family members.

At the time, senior prosecutor Susan Galloway told the court that Marli indicated she does not want to be a witness for the defence. She has retrograde amnesia and therefore has no recollection of the events of that night.

Galloway confirmed that she still cannot remember what happened.