Rudi's body, and the mark on the wall where Henri said he threw the axe at the attacked, was called into question in the Van Breda trial on Thursday. Photo: Noor Slamdien
Cape Town - The manner in which the axe used in the De Zalze murders hit the wall further provided evidence that the crime scene was staged, blood spatter analyst Captain Marius Joubert told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Triple murder-accused Henri van Breda's defence advocate Pieter Botha grilled Joubert over his assertions, which contradict Henri's version of events that saw his parents and brother killed, leading Joubert to leave the witness stand to demostrate exactly what he meant. 

Botha repeatedly asked Joubert whether or not the axe had been thrown at an attacker, as Henri said he had done, leading to the axe leaving a mark on one of the walls. 

"We don't know," Jourbert admitted, but based on other bloodstains, splatter and cast-off, in his expert opinion, the mark was left my a more deliberate action.

"Taking my experience, I can definitely say in my opinion that the axe was not thrown," Joubert said.

Earlier in the week Joubert testified that Rudi van Breda had been dragged or moved after being axed, as blood had started to clot before he was moved to the bedroom floor. Rudi was not mobile after the attack, Joubert believed. 

Botha argued against this, saying his expert witness, Dr Reggie Perumal thought it possible that Rudi may have been alive for up to just over two hours after the attack. 

Joubert strongly disagreed saying that the blood pattern would show if he was moving. He said that blood flow patterns had significant value as they tell a story about the position and movement of the body. Looking at the injuries Rudi had sustained, and his assessment of the scene, Joubert disagreed with Dr Perumal's opinion.

Photo: Noor Slamdien
Botha also presented that it wouldn’t have made sense for Henri to move the body. In Henri’s plea explanation he said he saw Rudi being attacked on the bed. Botha questioned why Henri would have moved Rudi, which Joubert said was the only victim whose body had been moved.

"I can’t tell you why Rudi was moved," Joubert said.

"The person could have been angry towards him, and still wanted to take it out on him."

Joubert said while he didn't believe the scene was "staged", another person must have moved Rudi's body; Rudi could not have moved to his final position on his own. 

Joubert will continue giving evidence during cross-examination on Monday.

Henri van Breda stands accused of the murder of his brother, Rudi, his father Martin, and his mother Teresa. He also faces a charge of the attempted murder of his sister, Marli.


Cape Argus