Here are eight things you ought to know about the State’s case against Henri van Breda.
1. Henri van Breda handed himself over to the police after they informed his advocate, Pieter Botha, of his imminent arrest. He reported to the Stellenbosch police station on Monday afternoon, where he was charged and spent the night behind bars.
2. Raised voices were heard coming from the Van Breda home in Goske Street, De Zalze Winelands Golf Estate, the night before the triple murder in January last year. The estate boasts top security measures and no intruders were reported on the estate at the time of the killings.
3. Henri van Breda did a Google search for emergency numbers at 04:27 on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, three minutes after trying to phone his girlfriend. He phoned emergency services just under three hours later to report the incident.
4. An axe from the Van Breda home, believed to have been used in the attack, was recovered from the gruesome scene, as well as a kitchen knife which was part of a set belonging to the family.
5. Henri van Breda sustained superficial injuries, which included knife wounds. According to the State, there is expert medical opinion that the wounds were self-inflicted.
6. Henri was found at the scene, dressed in sleeping shorts and white socks. DNA analysis of the blood found on him and his clothes matched the DNA of his mother, father and brother. He is also accused of tampering with the crime scene and supplying false information to the police.
7. The arrest comes almost 17 months after the murders. The NPA said this was to ensure that when the case came before the courts, it would have strong evidence against the accused.
8. Senior advocate Susan Galloway represented the State. Her high profile cases include convictions against minibus taxi driver Jacob Humphreys after the death of 10 children when his vehicle was hit by a train at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath in 2010; as well as the murder of performance artist Rosemary Theron, whose daughter and her boyfriend were sentenced for strangling her at her Clovelly home in 2013.
Henri is represented by advocate Pieter Botha, who assisted advocate Francois van Zyl in defending British businessman Shrien Dewani following his wife Anni’s murder in Cape Town in 2010. Dewani was later discharged in the Western Cape High Court in 2014.