News24 is reporting that multiple axe-murder accused Henri van Breda was arrested this week for drug possession. The website said they confirmed this with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
Van Breda (21) has been out on bail for allegedly murdering his parents and brother in 2015, along with badly injuring his sister, Marli.
Reportedly, he was arrested with his girlfriend, Danielle Janse Van Rensburg, and they appeared in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila told News24. He would not say which drug they had in their possession.
Janse van Rensburg, 20, previously told general interest weekly magazine You that her boyfriend couldn’t possibly have axed his mother, father and brother to death and inflicted brain damage on his younger sister, the sole other survivor of what’s become known as the De Zalze murders, which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, January 27, last year.
She said the reason she felt this way was because he had told her he was innocent and she believed him.
As for the case against her boyfriend, Henri’s lawyers have stated that, in their view, the state will have its work cut out for it to prove that his version of events is not possibly and reasonably true. The case will have to rely on circumstantial evidence because the only surviving witness, Marli, now 17, still can’t remember a thing about what happened. According to some reports, she also believes in Henri’s innocence.
Van Breda appeared in the Western Cape High Court on Friday for a pre-trial conference. The matter was postponed to November 18. The trial date has provisionally been set for February 6.
The state will probably be relying primarily on blood spatter evidence on Henri’s clothing, the fact that high-end security footage found no evidence of any intruders on the morning in question, and the guards also reported nothing suspicious. They will also be hoping that suspicious behaviour on Henri’s part will aid their case, since he failed to phone the police for three hours after the incident despite googling for emergency numbers. He first phoned his then girlfriend, and when he finally did phone the police, he reportedly did so with a nervous giggle.
His “superficial wounds” were also adjudged to be self-inflicted by the state’s medical witness. The blood he was covered in came from all his slain family members, the prosecution says, and the state has also charged him with tampering with the crime scene.
All the same, Henri’s lawyers, one of whom managed to successfully defend Briton Shrien Dewani in the high-profile murder case of Anni Dewani, have said that they still believe it will be hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Henri is indeed an axe murderer.
The state said they had waited nearly 17 months to arrest him because they wanted to ensure they had strong evidence against him.