Judge erred in van Breda murder case, says triple axe murderer's lawyers

Published Jun 4, 2019


Cape Town - Axe murderer Henri van Breda's legal team is asking the Constitutional Court to grant him leave to appeal against the murder conviction and sentence imposed by Judge Desai in the Western Cape High Court on June 5, 2018.

He is currently serving a life sentence for the triple murder of his parents Martin, 54, Teresa, 55, and his brother Rudi, 22, who he axed to death in January 2015 at their De Zalze Golf estate home on January, 27, 2015. His younger sister Marli survived the horrific attack.

An accompanying affidavit by Lorinda van Niekerk - an attorney and practising as a director at Cluver Markotter Incorporated - which was handed to the ConCourt on Tuesday in support of his application. In her 53-page founding affidavit van Niekerk outlined the grounds on which their appeal is based and on which points they differ with Judge Desai's ruling.

She said: “It is submitted that the court a quo erred and misdirected itself by concluding that the proven facts are only consistent with a finding that van Breda was the person who attacked his family and that the proven facts exclude as reasonable inference that the applicant's exculpatory version is reasonably possibly true.

"The finding that the absence of blood underneath van Breda’s sock is an anomaly - whether he is a victim or perpetrator. It is respectfully submitted that the absence corroborates his version as to his role in the events as they occurred."

Van Niekerk added at the same time it renders the State’s narrative, that he managed to attack his entirely family with an axe; engage in a severe struggle with Marli; and dragged Rudi around whilst the latter is lying in a pool of blood without stepping in any blood at all; highly improbable, if not impossible.

“If van Breda’s appeal against his conviction on premeditated murder is upheld but substituted for conviction on murder, it is also submitted that an appeal against the life sentences imposed also has a reasonable prospect of success," she said.

The National Prosecuting Authority will file its replying affidavit next Friday.

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