Triple murder accused Henri van Breda. PHOTO: ANA

Cape Town - Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai ruled on Tuesday that cameras be allowed to broadcast the testimony of 22-year-old triple murder accused Henri van Breda. 

"Having carefully considered this I am disinclined to make inroads into a constitutionally defined right. The application to bar the broadcast is refused," Desai said to a packed courtroom.

Defence lawyer Piet Botha had earlier argued that his client's stutter may negatively impact on his testimony.

The 22-year-old Henri, who will celebrate his 23rd birthday on Wednesday, immediately took the stand. He described his family as close, saying they shared everything with each other: "We certainly enjoyed spending time as a family together, especially at that time of year."

The Sunday before the attacks in January 2015, the family had all gone shark cage diving together. 

Read: Judge to deliberate on Van Breda's wish to testify off camera

Van Breda talked the court through the timeline of the night of the murders. He described how his family ate dinner together, and how he later watched Star Trek 2 with his father and brother. He then went to bed where he and his brother watched movies on their laptops. He couldn't sleep so listened to music on his phone and then needed to "make a bowel movement".

At this point, Van Breda paused, licked his lips and appeared to be growing increasingly uncomfortable. He described seeing a "silhouette" attacking his brother.

Read more: #VanBreda: Security failings at De Zalze Estate highlighted

Botha pointed out that evidence photographs showed that the toilet had not been flushed, nor had he cleaned himself when he apparently heard the noise.

Van Breda said he saw a "person swinging an object down where Rudi was laying" and that he called for help. His father switched on the light. As he talked about facing the attacker, it was clear he was growing distressed.

Judge Desai asked him if he wanted to take a break and duly allowed a court adjournment.

Van Breda faces five charges, three of murder, one of attempted murder and one of defeating the ends of justice. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him and claims that a laughing, axe-wielding intruder killed his father Martin, mother Teresa, and brother Rudi, and seriously injured his sister Marli in their home on the luxury de Zalze estate in Stellenbosch.

African News Agency