Triple murder accused Henri van Breda in the dock at the Western Cape High Court, accused of killing his parents and brother and injuring his sister at their home in Stellenbosch in 2015. Picture: Courtney Africa/ANA Pictures
Cape Town – Seven times patrol vehicles passed the De Zalze Estate house where the Van Bredas lived on the night they were murdered – and there were no signs of an intrusion.

This was the testimony of security manager Edgar Wyngaard in the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

On the sixth day of his triple-murder trial, Henri van Breda’s legal team kept on the heat and were relentless in attempting to prove the security system could be penetrated undetected.

Wyngaard, who has 14 years’ experience in the business, was working the night of the murders, and during cross-examination said he conducted “bloodhound patrols”, which sees him driving around the premises to ensure all is as it should be.

He said he did this about 10pm and again at 1am, and between this he passed the house several more times to perform other duties.

There were also no people unaccounted for that night, Wyngaard testified, as he explained that construction workers, present on the day, and domestic workers needed to register at reception with their fingerprints.

At the end of the working day, security workers could confirm that everyone had left, Wyngaard said.

“I didn’t notice anything strange or suspicious. I’d say it’s impossible to get over that fence,” Wyngaard said.

Defence advocate Matthys Combrink put it to Wyngaard that someone could have used electric resistant material such as plastic to get over the fence, or one person could stand on the shoulders of another and jump over.

But Wyngaard was sceptical, and said the fence was higher than 2m, and there was no way they could get through without activating the alarm.

Combrink also put previous evidence to Wyngaard that the alarm had tripped three times on the night before, and on the morning of the murders.

Combrink paid special attention to an alarm that tripped at 1am on January 27, 2015 – the day of the murders.

It is suspected to have either been a beam that had been crossed, or a power point that was opened.

But Wyngaard said he had no knowledge of it, and would have been deployed to check if it had been reported.

“When I finished my shift at 7am, I went home to sleep. My fiancée woke me up at 11am to tell me about the murder, which she had seen on the news.

“I said: ‘No way, that’s impossible. Nothing happened last night’,” Wyngaard testified.

He then went back to work immediately, checked the camera footage with colleagues, and found nothing untoward.

Van Breda’s mother Teresa, 55, father Martin, 54, and brother Rudi, 22, were killed with an axe or “similarly sharp object” at the estate, and Van Breda, 21, is now on trial for their murders.

His sister Marli, 16, at the time, survived a physical assault, and now suffers from retrograde amnesia and remembers nothing of the night. Van Breda has pleaded not guilty to three counts of murder, one of attempted murder, and one of defeating the ends of justice.

He said in a plea explanation that an attacker wearing a balaclava broke into their house and carried out the crimes. Earlier this week security guard Lorenzo Afrika was on the stand, and testified that he, too, was not aware of alarms being triggered on or during that day.

Afrika said that if a zone had been flagged, he would go to check, and it would be double-checked by another colleague.

The Cape Times was at the scene the morning police were alerted to a crime and Alexander Boshoff, a close friend, told the newspaper that “they (the Van Bredas) were a perfect family” and “their families often spent holidays together”.

The trial continues on Monday.

[email protected]

Cape Town