Triple murder accused Henry van Breda has decided to testify in his trial in his defence in the Western Cape High Court. His defence Advocate Pieter Botha told Judge Siraj Desai that his client had instructed him that he wished to take the stand.
Earlier in the trial, the defence said he will not be testifying.
Advocate Pieter Botha had explained that if Van Breda decided to give evidence at a later stage, the court would draw negative inferences from this. According to the Criminal Procedures Act, an accused has to testify at the start of the defence’s case.
Van Breda, 22, pleaded not guilty to axing his parents and brother to death, seriously injuring his sister Marli and defeating the ends of justice. He alleged that an intruder wearing a balaclava, gloves and dark clothes was behind the attack and that he had heard other voices of people speaking Afrikaans in their home in the De Zalze Estate in Stellenbosch in January 2015.
Van Breda claimed that, after a fight with the axe-wielding intruder who was also armed with a knife, the man had escaped.
Van Breda suffers from a speech impediment and stutters under pressure. He asked that Desai not allow his testimony to be broadcast.