Van Breda appeal dismissed

Van Breda appeal dismissed

Henri Van Breda sits in the dock of the Western Cape High Court to hear his sentence for killing his parents and brother and maiming his sister with an axe in their luxury home in 2015, in Cape Town on June 7, 2018. Picture: AFP PHOTO / RODGER BOSCH

Henri Van Breda will not be able to appeal his conviction for the 2015 axe murders of his parents and his older brother at their family home in Stellenbosch.

Henri Van Breda, 23, has been unsuccessful in his bid to apply for leave to appeal his triple murder conviction and sentence.

Judge Siraj Desai, who presided over the trial, found there is no reasonable prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion to his.

In May this year, Desai convicted Van Breda of the 2015 axe murders of his parents and his older brother at the family home in the De Zalze security estate in Stellenbosch. He also found him guilty of the attempted murder of his sister Marli as well as defeating the ends of justice.

He received three life sentences, 15 years for attempted murder and a year for defeating the ends of justice – all sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

Last week, Van Breda’s defence lawyer Piet Botha argued that Van Breda had been convicted and sentenced based on circumstantial evidence.

“We are faced with a very young person spending the rest of his life in jail with only circumstantial evidence against him.”

But Desai said most criminal cases rely on circumstantial evidence.

The judge seemed unconvinced by Botha’s argument: “One rarely gets a case as strong as this against the accused”.

He added: “This case fits like a mosaic, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle … everything fits together.”

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