The two faces of Henri van Breda

Henri van Breda had a beer with his sister’s boyfriend’s family before going to the hospital to get stitches. He allegedly sustained injuries when an axe-wielding man murdered his family and tried to attack him.

According to Dr Michelle van Zyl from Stellenbosch Mediclinic the youngster was casual when he arrived at the clinic hours after the murders.

However this behaviour is contrary to how his uncle‚ André du Toit‚ described Henri’s behaviour after his father Martin‚ mother Teresa and brother Rudi were found dead. His sister Marli sustained serious injuries and had been admitted to hospital.

Du Toit‚ Teresa’s brother‚ said Van Breda was emotional and broke down.

Henri van Breda weeps as pathologist describes horrific injuries suffered by his familyMarli van Breda put up a major fight against her attacker‚ while her elder brother Rudi probably lay alive for some time before succumbing to his injuries as blood seeped into his lungs. 

On Tuesday he testified in the ‘trial within a trial’ where Henri’s defence team is trying to stop a statement‚ he had given police‚ from being admitted to court.

Du Toit said he saw Henri for the first time after the incident at James Reade-Jahn’s house in Somerset West. Reade-Jahn had been dating Marli. Van Breda’s then girlfriend Bianca van der Westhuizen was also at the house.

He described the meeting as “very emotional“.

“We didn’t talk a lot. When Henri speaks he stutters and he speaks very slowly. We just hugged and cried‚” he said.

‘He has taken my heart and stepped on it’ – Gabriella Alban told her mother shortly before she was murdered“He has taken my heart and stepped on it” - Gabriella Alban told her mother shortly before she was allegedly killed by Diego Novella — the man she loved. 

Du Toit said he left Henri with Reade-Jahn’s family because he needed to take the family dog Sasha to his home in Bellville and Henri wanted to be close to the Welgemoed Hospital where his sister was in a critical condition.

Du Toit was the first family member at the scene of the crime on the De Zalze estate in Stellenbosch. Du Toit is one of eight children. He was so emotional he could barely speak as he recalled the first time he heard of his younger sister’s death.

He told the court on Tuesday that Colonel Deon Beneke had asked him about his sister’s family.

“I said I don’t know of any problems. Then he turned around and went on with his task‚” said Du Toit.

A colonel then introduced herself and informed him what had happened.

“Then I realised‚ Theresa and Martin and Rudi had passed away‚” he said with tears rolling down his cheeks.

Last week Van Zyl told the court that upon examining Van Breda she could smell alcohol. The defence argued that this is because he had a beer with family friends.



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