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The Van Breda murder trial


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All that did happen today in court is Dr Butler on the stand for the third day. He didn't add any information to what has already been said.

Desai specifically pointed out that in both instances of the known seizures, Henri was busy discussing the case.

Dr Butler said that the stress caused by the case could certainly trigger his seizure.

Advocate Botha then asked that the case be stood down to speak to their other (final) witness. Desai granted this adjournment. And the case is now dormant until the 12th of February 2018. Desai wished the media and the public and the "dedicated supporters" a safe festive season.

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Just wow, I really thought they would end before 2017 *sad panda*


Having now gone to view a few cases thanks to this case, I saw that these proceedings take place at a snail's pace because the whole time witnesses need to be reviewed, mistakes are made by D.A'S or prosecutors and either the court is not available everyday or the witness is not available.

Having seen a judge blowup on a defence attorney because the case had to be stood down, made me see that it's not by choice that these things take so long. Unfortunately, every single detail needs to be inspected and it can get tedious but then again the details can make or break a case. The foundation needs to be laid well for the judge to make an informed decision.

So in the end rather let it take time - for justice to prevail. (if I may be naive that justice will be served.)

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I get what you are saying, it's just disheartening that he will be allowed to enjoy another Xmas as a free man.


Who knows what concoctions they will come up during this time before the trial starts again trying to sway the Judge that he is indeed innocent.


There is not much more to be said. The seizure was about as big as it could go.

As far as I know it's only the psychologist to testify on Henri's demeanor on the phone call that is left. And we all know they will just say it's normal behavior in that situation.

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Day 1 of closing arguments.


Advocate Galloway riveted the court today. The gallery was jam packed with onlookers, nodding agreement and making sounds of inclination.


Galloway went over all their evidence in a neat and logical order. Discussing the fact that there is no proof of other assailants, the defence's experts could not come up with plausible faults, there were no dog paw prints, the changing of Henri's story, the odd EMS call, lack of someone making a hit on the family, or an execution as Martin's brother testified Martin was an upstanding businessman. The dog did not bark at any intruders, inferring the assailant was someone familiar to the family, the layout of the house.

The evidence of someone familiar also comes from the family not calling for help, not trying to hide or run but instead going to the assailant.

Galloway addressed the self inflicted wounds, text book wounds.

Also defensive wounds of the family. Marli fought the assailant, Rudi lifted an arm to stop the axe, and Martin was either surprised or ran to protect Rudi from the assailant, perhaps not seeing the offender or running anyway to protect his child.

Desai raised the issue of Marli. The question we all wonder, why is she not dead?

According to Galloway, Henri attacked her, sufficiently according to him that she would die, after which he then left her to die. When it became morning and Henri realized people will be starting to look for the family he called EMS. He realized he couldn't hurt Marli after the fact. Galloway said in court, "The accused smoked three cigarettes while waiting for Marli to die."

Henri didn't check on his family or assist.

We were all bombarded with the seizure Henri had. Doctor Butler was of the strong opinion Henri had a grand mal seizure the day of the attack. However had he had an attack he would have been in a postictal state, unable to think clearly or strategize. Which he did when making conscious decisions of not calling the emergency service numbers on the fridge, instead Googling and assisting the responders.


Galloway wants the court to charge Henri with three counts of murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice.


Tomorrow the defence will present their closing arguments.


Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk

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Day 2 of closing arguments.


The gallery was visibly emptier and thinned out as the day progressed, leaving us with only six people watching. Is this indicative of the interest or belief of the defence's case?


The defence started this morning with tearing apart De Zalze estate security. Making it seem as if the state were implying the estate was a Fort Knox, impenetrable. Desai quickly stopped Botha by saying that is not what the state was saying. They were saying it was highly unlikely that someone entered and exited the estate without being seen on any cameras or any security or any witnesses. To have gotten into the estate and out would have required expert knowledge, as Desai said it was "in the realm of oceans 11".


I realized today Botha is not only incredibly thorough, as is his job, but he is a very good speaker. He delivered his arguments with such passion that Desai told him at one point "Mr Botha, please calm down".

This creates a stark contrast between Galloway and Botha. Galloway mostly just read her arguments yesterday.


Moving on, the testimony of Olckers was once again in dispute. Specifically why tests were not done to prove the unreliability or reliability of the evidence as Olckers said they were not up to standard. The matter was dropped though after Desai asked whether the evidence should not be accepted by the Court and Botha said no, that is not what he is saying.


Blood spatter evidence was then discussed at length. The lack of blood on the accused, the impact spatters on the back of his sock, How that got there and the blood on the adjacent property's wall. Botha's version is that Henri was either facing away from the attack and the blood landed on the back of his sock, or during his scuffle with the attacker blood from the axe dripped onto him.

Botha said the blood on the adjacent wall is more likely from someone running past than it coming from the boys' window upstairs.


The case of the two axes then came into play. Botha referred to exhibit 1, the axe which contained blood from Martin, Theresa and Rudi. But none from Marli. He referred to Henri's statement that there were two people in the house. According to Henri he didn't see the attack on his sister. (Just what was he doing during the attacks?)

Botha pointed out the speculation that the axe is not the same the family had.

Desai however seems certain by the testimony of Precious and James Reade-Jahn. He called it unusual behavior to bring an axe to a scene. Not to mention if there were two axes, two people fleeing a blood drenched scene that there was very little blood downstairs or leading from the scene.


Desai seems to believe there are ways that Marli's blood can not be on the axe (though he didn't delve into it as I had hoped)


Botha then referred to the Locard Exchange Principle, that there were no traces of his client on the rest of the family. Nor any of Marli's blood on him.


The defence said that the state has failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt and want their client acquitted of all charges.


Botha will finish his argument tomorrow, after which Galloway will then give a rebuttal.


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It's no news anymore that Henri van Breda has been found guilty on three counts of murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice. Until the 5th of June when sentencing is to be handed down, Henri is in Pollsmoor prison. The state will push for the maximum sentence and I doubt Desai will deny it. Henri will probably not see the free world again in his lifetime. 23 years old and a life of incarceration ahead. Which is only fair considering the heinous crimes.

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