Judge Desai to rule on Henri Van Breda’s appeal bid


CAPE TOWN, August 20 – 23-year-old Henri Van Breda will find out on Monday if his application for leave to appeal his triple murder conviction and sentence has been successful or not.

Judge Siraj Desai, who presided over the trial, must decide whether there is a reasonable prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion to his.

In May this year, Desai convicted Van Breda of the 2015 axe murders of his parents and his older brother at the family home in the De Zalze security estate in Stellenbosch. He also found him guilty of the attempted murder of his sister Marli as well as defeating the ends of justice.

He received three life sentences, 15 years for attempted murder and a year for defeating the ends of justice – all sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

Last week, Van Breda’s defence lawyer Piet Botha argued that Van Breda had been convicted and sentenced based on circumstantial evidence. “We are faced with a very young person spending the rest of his life in jail with only circumstantial evidence against him.”

But, Judge Desai said most criminal cases rely on circumstantial evidence.

The judge seemed unconvinced by Botha’s argument: “One rarely gets a case as strong as this against the accused”.

He added: “This case fits like a mosaic, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle … everything fits together.”

– African News Agency (ANA)