Murder accused Van Breda goes home

The Cape Town High Court has moved to De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate in the picturesque town of Stellenbosch.

But there is nothing pretty about what the court is doing there.

An in loco inspection of the house where three Van Breda family members were hacked to death with an axe is taking place.

Henri van Breda is accused of murdering his mother Teresa, father Martin, brother Rudi and injuring his sister Marli.

Henri arrived at the home on Tuesday with his team of lawyers.

Dressed in a blue suit with a choir-boy hairstyle, the 21-year-old seemed calm.

Eight police officers from the Public Order Policing unit  were standing at the entrance of the home.

After a brief photo and video session of the parties, including Judge Siraj Desai,  about 30 journalists and photographers were asked to leave the premises.

Van Breda pleaded not guilty in the Cape Town High Court yesterday to the murders, the attempted murder of his sister and to obstructing justice.

His advocate, Pieter Botha, read out an 18-page plea explanation in which he claimed that an axe-wielding attacker laughed as he hacked at members of the family.

In his statement Van Breda said he disarmed the attacker with surprising ease but he then produced a knife and slashed at Van Breda's chest and arm.

Van Breda said he threw the axe he had taken from the attacker at him as he fled down the stairs but lost his footing and had a "severe" fall.

Van Breda said he checked the house after the attacker had fled and when he went back upstairs.

"I saw Marli moving about on top of the landing, lying next to my mom. My mother was not moving. The last thing I recall seeing is Marli and my mom. I then lost consciousness," he said.