10 May 2017

South Africa: Martin Van Breda Was an Exceptional Businessman - Brother

Photo: Facebook
A photo posted to Facebook of Henri Van Breda shortly after the murder of his parents at their De Zalze estate.

Martin van Breda was an exceptional businessman who worked hard to achieve success, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

"I can confidently say all his transactions were honest. No hidden agendas - his integrity wouldn't allow it," Martin's brother Andre van Breda testified.

"His strategy was openly discussed. He had no enemies.

"[There was] no unhappiness between him and his colleagues and partners. He was an exceptional man."

Forensic cleaners

Martin, 54, together with his wife Teresa, 55, and son Rudi, 22, were killed in their De Zalze Estate home near Stellenbosch in the early hours of January 27, 2015.

His son Henri van Breda is accused of the triple murder and attempting to murder his younger daughter Marli.

Andre described the extended Van Breda family as close-knit.

Andre said he saw Martin's three children as well-mannered and educated.

"[I] don't think they ever disappointed [their parents]," he said.

Andre testified that Henri and the extended family visited the house at 12 Goske Street after it had been cleaned by forensic cleaners.

"Nothing was missing from the house. There were no indication that anything was gone. I couldn't see that anything had gone missing," Andre said.

During cross-examination, Advocate Pieter Botha, for Henri, said Henri indicated that he did not enter the house after the murder, but Andre said he recalled Henri accompanying the family inside on one of the two instances Andre had been there.

Whiskey had 'sentimental value'

He recalled them being in the kitchen, with Henri indicating that he wanted a bottle of exotic whisky and some of the wines.

Botha said the whisky had sentimental value as it had been a gift to Henri's dad.

Andre couldn't recall if Henri had been with them when they went into the rooms.

The Van Breda's domestic worker Precious Munyongani later told the court that she recognised the axe allegedly used in the murder, as it looked like one stored on a shelf in the scullery where she used to fetch the ironing board.

Munyongani could not recall if the family ever used the axe or what it had been used for.

She said the pictures of the knife taken from the scene looked similar to one in the spoon drawer of the Van Breda home.

When showed a scene photo of a packet of cigarettes, Munyongani said Henri was the only member of the family who smoked, but that he never smoked in front of his parents.

Could not reach him

In the afternoon, Bianca van der Westhuizen, who had "spent time" with Henri although she said they had not been dating, confirmed that Henri had tried to phone her at 04:42 and 07:20 on the morning of the murder.

Van der Westhuizen said her phone was on flight mode at the time.

She said she assumed Henri tried to phone her because he had no one else to phone.

Van der Westhuizen said she later tried to phone him back, but could not reach him.

Henri pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He claimed that he tried to stop an intruder who had attacked the family in their home.

The case continues.

Source: News24

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