17 May 2017

South Africa: Two Pages Needed to List Henri Van Breda's Wounds

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

The injuries Henri van Breda sustained when his parents and brother were murdered filled two pages, the Western Cape High Court heard on Wednesday.

All his wounds had similar characteristics and appeared "very superficial and uniform", general practitioner Dr Lizette Albertse testified in Van Breda's trial.

She examined the then-20 year old after the attack on his family in their home in the De Zalze estate, Stellenbosch on January 27, 2015. She testified that she needed two pages to note his injuries after he was taken to her rooms for her to compile a report for police.

Van Breda had four parallel, "very superficial" cuts on his left forearm, two above his right nipple and another above that, a stab wound on the left thorax, one cut above his left nipple, and two stab wounds to the left abdominal area.

Most of the injuries on the front of his body and forearm broke the skin.

Self-inflicted wounds

On his back, he had a scratch above and below his scapula. These didn't break the skin, she noted. He had two abrasions on his back. There was old scarring on his knee, a bruise and swelling just below it, and another two old bruises.

He had swelling above his left eye and a bruise under it.

She didn't consider the injuries serious and thus did not ask police to take him for treatment.

Albertse noted Henri was very quiet. She didn't find clinical proof of drug or alcohol use.

When police asked her if she thought the wounds were self-inflicted, she referred them to a forensic specialist.

Pieter Botha, for Van Breda, asked Albertse if Henri could have sustained the cuts in a struggle with an intruder armed with a knife. She said it would be possible.

Botha asked if, during a struggle, a knifeman could have caused the injuries to Henri's thorax.

"I can't say it's not at all possible," Albertse said.

Van Breda claimed he fell while chasing an intruder down the stairs, and again when he passed out while ascending the stairs.

Botha referred to his client's head injuries and two blue eyes a separate doctor had confirmed later, and his confusion. He asked Albertse if Van Breda could have sustained a concussion.

It was, Albertse responded.

The 22-year-old is on trial on charges of murdering his parents Martin, 54, and Teresa, 55, and brother Rudi, 22, with an axe, attempting to murder his younger sister Marli, and defeating the ends of justice.

He has pleaded not guilty and alleges a balaclava-clad intruder attacked the family.

The trial continues on Thursday.

Source: News24

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