At a pre-trial hearing on Friday, the Western Cape High Court ruled the trial of Mario-César Deus Yela, 49, would begin on August 20. Deus Yela, from Barcelona, Spain, is accused of killing his twins, Octavia and Maximo, at a Hout Bay holiday complex in April last year.
His attorney, William Booth, told the court the defence had made certain proposals to the State but the plea and sentencing talks with the State had fallen flat and the trial would go ahead.
According to earlier reports, Deus Yela’s ex-wife, Julia Engelhorn, found the bodies of her three-year-old twins in a bedroom, after he invited her for lunch. When she arrived, he allegedly told her he had killed their two children.
The couple have a third child who was at school at the time of the killings. The man arrived in South Africa in March 2017 and found a holiday home and an au pair for the children so he could spend more time with them.
Deus Yela is also accused of threatening to stab Engelhorn, who ran to a security guard for help.
He is also accused of stealing Engelhorn’s Toyota Prado.
Deus Yela remains in police custody after his bail application was previously denied in the Wynberg magistrate’s court.
Booth is also the defence attorney for Guatemalan national Diego Novella, accused of murdering his girlfriend, Gabriela Kabrins Alban in 2015. The prosecutor in that trial is Louise Friester-Sampson, who is also the prosecutor in the Deus Yela matter.