Day five of the Henri van Breda murder trial kicked off on Wednesday with Judge Siraj Desai expressing concern that the 22-year-old accused could not follow proceedings in Afrikaans.
Desai wanted to know if Van Breda would need an interpreter, but his lawyer Pieter Botha confirmed that the accused was able to follow in Afrikaans. Botha said he would indicate if Van Breda could not keep up.
Van Breda spent many years in Australia.
In his plea explanation he indicated that he was taken in for questioning by police on the day officers came across his family’s bodies. There he explained that he “wasn’t comfortable with Afrikaans and preferred English’’.
The only familiar face in the public gallery was Van Breda’s uncle‚ who sits in on court proceedings day in and day out from beginning to end.
On Tuesday the state called Lorenzo Afrika‚ a security guard who was on duty the night Van Breda allegedly killed his mother‚ father and brother with an axe in their home at the De Zalze estate in Stellenbosch.
He handed in a map showing all the of estate’s 43 cameras‚ including “thermal cameras’’ which can rotate.
He also gave details of other security features at the estate‚ including “anti-dig” – a concrete layer under the electric fence.
Afrika said that he had tested cameras and the electric fence on the night of the murders until his shift ended at 7 am.