Van Breda 'may have injured himself' - Times LIVE
   
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Tue May 23 07:04:55 SAST 2017

Van Breda 'may have injured himself'

TANYA FARBER | 2017-05-19 06:21:25.0
Henri van Breda at the High Court in Cape Town on 17 May 2017.
Image by: ESA ALEXANDER

Henri van Breda's defence counsel accused the prosecution of an "ambush" yesterday over a pathologist's evidence that cuts on the axe murder accused's body were likely to have been self-inflicted.

During a heated exchange in the High Court in Cape Town, Judge Siraj Desai reprimanded Piet Botha, saying the word "ambushed" was inappropriate and harsh. "There has not been an iota of suggestion at this stage that [you] have been ambushed," he said.

Botha's outburst came during testimony by Marianne Tiemensma, an expert in forensic pathology and clinical forensics, who said it was interesting that Van Breda's plea statement was so detailed when someone with concussion would probably have remembered a lot less.

The lawyer complained that proceedings had turned into a "trial by omission" because he had not been warned about statements Tiemensma would make.

After Botha said he wanted his own expert to be present for Tiemensma's evidence, the pathologist was asked to return on Tuesday. A different witness will testify when the trial resumes on Monday.

Earlier Tiemensma read out two reports she had prepared after another doctor, Lizette Albertse, referred the Van Breda case to her.

"[Van Breda's] wounds are superficial, regular, equal in depth, parallel, and in areas reachable to the person," she told the court.

In his plea statement Van Breda claimed the knife wounds were sustained in a scuffle with the alleged intruder he blames for the murder of his parents and brother and the attempted murder of his sister at their Stellenbosch home.

But Tiemensma said his wounds "stand in strong contrast to the fatal injuries the rest of the family suffered".

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