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Van Breda wants cameras removed before he testifies

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Henri van Breda is prepared to testify in his own trial – but he wants the cameras turned off.

This came to light in the Western Cape High Court on Monday‚ as the trial resumed after more than 50 days of testimony.

Van Breda’s counsel‚ Piet Botha‚ told Judge Siraj Desai: “I am calling no further witnesses‚ but my client… wishes to testify.”

However‚ he added that regarding the broadcasting of his testimony‚ he would like to apply for this to be disallowed. Botha said‚ “Broadcasting his testimony will only add to what will already be a stressful period for him in the witness box. He has a stutter that gets worse when he is under pressure and also tends to mutter – he has it fairly under control‚ but your lordship will no doubt witness what I am describing.”

Judge Desai said he needed a short break to consider this issue‚ since it was “an unusual” request within an already unusual trial.

Van Breda‚ who stands accused of murdering his parents and brother with an axe‚ and attempting to murder his sister‚ in 2015‚ stood nervously in the dock while his counsel described his “speech impediment” to Judge Desai. This‚ however‚ is not the first time his stutter has been brought up in the court.

It also came under scrutiny earlier in the trial‚ when all present listened to the recording of the call he placed to emergency services in the early hours of the morning on 27 January 2015.

It had been widely reported in the media that he had let out a giggle during the protracted phone call‚ which led the responder to believe it was a prank call.

But his counsel had argued that it was a stutter‚ not a giggle.

Judges Desai took a 30-minute recess to consider the request‚ after which the trial will continue.

[Source: Times Live]
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