CAPE TOWN, August 20 – Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai on Monday refused 23-year-old Henri Van Breda’s application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence and said he hoped it would be “the last word on the case”.
But defence lawyer Piet Botha confirmed to journalists as he left courtroom 9 that he will opt for their only and final recourse at being granted an appeal – to petition the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein directly. He has to file papers within 15 days.
In May this year, Van Breda was convicted of the 2015 triple axe murders of his brother and parents and the attempted murder of his sister at the family’s home in the De Zalze security estate in Stellenbosch, as well as defeating the ends of justice.
Judge Desai sentenced him to three life sentences, 15 years for attempted murder and a year for defeating the ends of justice. All the sentences were ordered to run concurrently.
The lengthy jail term was appropriate Desai said on Monday, “in light of the heinous nature of the crimes”. Furthermore, the only mitigating factors had been Van Breda’s youthfulness and the fact that he had no previous convictions.
He said Botha had not advanced any compelling reasons for an appeal to be heard. “The arguments he made are similar, if not the same advanced during the trial, and were rejected in principle in the judgment.”
Desai said the State had established “conclusively” that the appellant was responsible for the crimes. “The key pillars of the state’s case provided conclusive evidence of his guilt and are in effect unassailable.”
– African News Agency (ANA)