A year and a half since his family was killed in a brutal axe murder, 21-year-old Henri van Breda has handed himself over to the police and will face three counts of murder and one of attempted murder.
The Van Breda family, on Monday, noted the arrest of the family’s youngest son Henri.
Van Breda is one of two survivors of the shocking axe attack in which his millionaire businessman father, Martin, 55, and mother, Teresa, 54, and older brother, Rudi, 22, were killed at their home in January last year.
Van Breda handed himself over to the Stellenbosch police on Monday afternoon, accompanied by attorney Lorinda van Niekerk, who is from the legal firm representing him.
The family’s spokesman, Ben Rootman, confirmed that Van Breda was arrested and said the family issued a statement noting the arrest.
“The Van Breda family takes note of the arrest of Henri van Breda and all enquiries are directed to the police.”
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut confirmed that a 21-year-old suspect had been arrested in connection with the triple murder.
“Our investigation into the three murders and an attempted murder which were murder which were perpetrated on the De Zalze estate during January 2015 led to the arrest of a 21-year-old suspect this afternoon when he handed himself over to the Stellenbosch police.”
“The suspect is due to make a court appearance today in Stellenbosch to face three counts of murder and one of attempted murder.”
The docket has gone back and forth from the prosecuting officials and the police investigators that worked on the case, who were all told to dig deeper.
On Monday, Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said he was not aware of the development and would not comment on how they would be proceeding. He referred queries to the police.
The horror attack shocked residents of the upmarket estate.
Henri’s sister Marli, who was 16 at the time, was left for dead with a severed jugular vein and severe head injuries. She was in intensive care unit before being transferred to a rehabilitation facility. Reports said she had retrograde amnesia and did not remember the attack.
She was released into the care of relatives and later returned to school. Van Breda walked away with minor cuts and bruises and was the one who placed the call to police after the murders.
The siblings reunited five months after the attack.
Social media went into a frenzy, with a video also emerging. Many attributed the pace of the case to privilege, with others saying they had their suspicions.
On Twitter, @saberah said, “This Henri van Breda story is beyond sickening. If he was a poor man (of colour) then he would’ve been kept in custody until proven innocent.”
@khakhy said, “White privilege runs so deep. Hope Zinde’s son was arrested on the spot. Henri van Breda had to hand himself over, Pistorius is broken.”
On Facebook the news was shared a number of times, with one user Joy Holtzhausen saying, “Like this was not obvious from the start? What on earth is up with our police these days?”
Jutah Baloyi added his comment, “So this Henri guy saw that SAPS don’t know how to do their job, he then arrested himself by handing himself to the police.”