Africa

Judgement day for accused triple axe murderer Henri van Breda

Judgement day for triple-murder accused Henri van Breda has arrived. Source: Jaco Marais/Netwerk24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Judgement day has arrived for a South African man accused of killing his parents and brother, and seriously wounding his sister, in 2015.

South Africa's Western Cape High Court is expected on Monday to hand down its ruling in the case of Henri van Breda, accused of killing his parents and brother with an axe in a grisly attack he blamed on an intruder.

The 23-year-old pleaded not guilty to killing his wealthy family and seriously injuring his sister Marli at their Cape Town luxury mansion in January 2015.

Van Breda, who previously studied in Australia, has alleged he was using the toilet and playing games on his mobile phone when an intruder broke in and murdered his family. 

Henri van Breda arrives at Cape Town International Airport ahead of the judgement in his triple murder case.
Henri van Breda arrives at Cape Town International Airport ahead of the judgement in his triple murder case.
Jaco Marais/Netwerk24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

"I saw the silhouette of someone...the person was busy attacking, swinging an object at where Rudi was laying," he told the court in November last year while exhibiting no emotion in a testimony live-streamed on television.

Asked if he had killed his parents and brother with an axe, he repeatedly replied "no", saying he had no reason "whatsoever" to murder anyone in his "close-knit" family, whose fortune has been estimated at $16 million.

He said he survived the attack with superficial stab wounds inflicted as he wrestled the attacker who was trying to slit his throat.

The state insists the wounds were self-inflicted.

In a leaked tape of his call to emergency services, van Breda could be heard telling an operator that his family members were "bleeding from the head".

He also giggled during the call although in court he denied ever laughing.

From left: Henri van Breda, Marli van Breda, Rudi van Breda and their parents Teresa and Martin van Breda. Picture: Facebook
From left: Henri van Breda, Marli van Breda, Rudi van Breda and their parents Teresa and Martin van Breda. Picture: Facebook
Facebook

Police failed to arrest anyone until Van Breda handed himself in to authorities 18 months after the attack which shocked South Africa.

The former University of Melbourne student is alleged to have killed his 21-year-old brother Rudi and parents Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55, and left his sister Marli struggling with near-fatal injuries to the head, neck and throat.

The family had relocated to Australia many years ago before returning home to South Africa in 2014.

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