South Africa 30.4.2015 11:11 am

Van Breda son said to be on the run

FILE PICTURE: A choir from Woodhill College sings at the Van Breda's memorial service at the Dutch Reformed Church in Moreleta Park on 5 February 2015 in Pretoria. Picture: Christine Vermooten

FILE PICTURE: A choir from Woodhill College sings at the Van Breda's memorial service at the Dutch Reformed Church in Moreleta Park on 5 February 2015 in Pretoria. Picture: Christine Vermooten

Although 16-year-old axe attack survivor Marli van Breda’s physical condition has “improved dramatically”, her brother Henri, 20, has fallen off the radar and police are discreetly making enquiries as to his whereabouts.

Siblings Marli and Henri are the only survivors of the horrific axe attack on their family at their Stellenbosch home in the Western Cape between January 25 and 26 this year. ┬áTheir father, Martin, mother, Teresa, and 22-year-old brother Rudi died in the attack.┬áSo far, police have not made any arrests, but reports suggest they are monitoring Henri’s movements.

Henri escaped with light wounds, while Marli has had a long road to travel to recovery.

According to a statement by family spokesperson Ben Rootman, she has been discharged from the rehabilitation care centre where she had been receiving treatment for the last few weeks.

Meanwhile, sources close to the family have revealed Henri, who was supposed to be in Klerksdorp, slipped away to Welkom to stay with a family friend.

He has allegedly subsequently disappeared from this residence.

“The police last night were calling all family and friends to try and track him down,” said the source.

Describing Marli’s injuries, Rootman said her “skull was fractured and she sustained extensive brain trauma which necessitated neurosurgery. She was in a medically-induced coma for several days.”

Rootman said it was a miracle she survived the attack and her physical recovery continued to astound those close to her.

“She is able to walk, communicates well and, surprisingly, given everything that has happened, has retained her sense of humour.”

It has been widely reported the estate on which the brutal attack took place told its residents there had been no security breach and some experts considered Henri’s wounds to be self-inflicted.

Rootman said the police were protecting Marli as no arrests had been made. Because she had retrograde amnesia as a result of the extensive trauma, she had not been able to make a statement.

“She cannot recall anything at all about the attack,” said Rootman.

Police would only say they had no comment and may submit a statement at a later stage.

The surviving Van Breda siblings apparently stand to inherit an estate valued at about R200 million.

“The therapy Marli is currently receiving includes physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy and psychological counselling,” said Rootman.

 

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