Cape Town - Several high-profile court cases grabbed readers’ attention this year, the biggest of them the Henri van Breda murder trial.
Van Breda is on trial for the murder of his parents, Martin and Teresa van Breda, and his 22-year-old brother Rudi on January 10, 2015 . His sister Marli sustained serious head injuries.
The case started at the Western Cape High Court before Judge Siraj Desai. Van Breda pleaded not guilty and alleges an intruder was responsible. However, it was heard that the injuries he sustained could have been self-inflicted. The State cited discrepancies in his plea and police statement, and no trace of Marli’s blood was found on the axe.
Van Breda is said to be running out of funds to pay his lawyer, advocate Pieter Botha. He was also recently admitted to hospital suffering from epilepsy. The case has been postponed to February 12.
Another high-profile case in the Western Cape High Court is that of former property boss Jason Rohde. He is on trial for the murder of his wife Susan, who was found dead in the bathroom of a Spier Estate hotel room the couple were sharing. He alleges she hanged herself with an electric cord on July 24 last year.
The court heard that Rohde had an affair that Susan discovered. His mistress, Jolene Alterskye, and Susan had been sending each other nasty messages. A pathologist found Susan died of manual strangulation. The matter has been rolled over to February 5.
Serial killer and psychopath Cameron Wilson heard his fate when he was sentenced to four life terms plus 71 years, which are to run concurrently. The 20-year-old was found guilty of 13 charges, including five of murder, one of rape and three of attempted murder.
The three murders were of 18-year-old Lekita Moore, 16-year-old Stacey Lee Mohale and Toyher Stober. Lekita was stabbed 98 times by Wilson while Stacey Lee was raped, stoned and then set alight.
Serial rapist and child killer Randy Tango had his days in court concluded when he was sentenced to three life terms for the rape and murder of 11-year-old Stacha Arendse, plus an additional 10 years for the statutory rape of another victim. Tango entered a plea and sentence agreement.
Convicted child-killer Anthea Kleynhans, who beat her three-year-old stepdaughter Lache Stols to death with a belt, was handed an effective 18-year prison sentence. The National Prosecuting Authority said they would discuss a possible appeal of sentence.
Spanish dentist Mario-César Deus Yela, 48, accused of killing his twins at a holiday apartment in Hout Bay on April 6, was denied bail. His case is expected to run next year.
The sentencing of Nigel Plaatjie and his uncle Johannes, convicted of killing Afrikaans author Winnie Rust, will also take place next year. Sentencing proceedings will start on February 5.