A visibly emotional Andre Rudolf du Toit, the uncle of 22-year-old triple-murder accused Henri Van Breda, testified in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday about the morning he was summoned to the Van Breda residence following the slaying of three members of the family.
Du Toit, the brother of murdered Teresa van Breda, said that he had received a phone call from the estate manager at de Zalze in Stellenbosch to go to the Van Breda residence on January 27, 2015, but was not told why.
Du Toit testified that after receiving the call he left Bothasig at 9am and arrived at the Van Breda residence at around 10am.
Upon his arrival, Du Toit saw police vehicles and said that’s when he realised something was seriously wrong, and, after introducing himself to police on the scene, he was informed that Henri had been taken to the police station, while his 16-year-old sister Marli had been transported to Stellenbosch Medi-Clinic.
Recalling the moments when he was informed of the news of the murders of Martin, Teresa and Rudi van Breda, as well as the attempted murder of Marli, Du Toit started trembling and was overcome with emotion in court but refused the offer to sit down after being informed that he could do so if he wished.
“We were the only family they had in Cape Town,” Du Toit told the court.
When Du Toit and his wife, Sonja, who had joined him at the house, left to see his niece at Stellenbosch Medi-Clinic, they were told by doctors that she was being transferred to the Vergelen Medi-Clinic where doctors were better able to assist her, he told the court.
At this point, the couple left the hospital and headed to the police station in Stellenbosch, but were not allowed to see Henri.
“We weren’t allowed to see him and we then left the police station,” he said.
Du Toit testified that they were not allowed to take him any food or clothes and were not even allowed to see him, but later found out that he was not at the police station but at the detectives’ offices. It was later discovered that Henri’s girlfriend and her family had provided him with clothes.
Du Toit testified that he saw Henri later at the house of his younger sister Marli’s then boyfriend, James Reade-Jahn’s house, where Du Toit explained that their encounter was very emotional.
“We didn’t talk much as Henri stutters when he talks fast, so when I saw him he spoke very slowly to explain,” he said.
Du Toit and his wife then left the Jahn’s residence, as Henri requested to remain there to visit his sister as their home was closer to the hospital where his sister had been transferred to.