'My sister is still moving': Van Breda breaks down as his emergency call is played in court

17 May 2017 - 13:17
By Tanya Farber And Aron Hyman

Sullen-faced murder accused Henri Van Breda broke down in court on Wednesday as his emergency call was played.

All those in attendance at the High Court in Cape Town listened in silence to the chilling phone call in which he showed no emotion and calmly gave his address‚ phone number and details of the “three adults and one teenage girl who have been attacked”.

  • WATCH: Van Breda helps with sound system as court listens to emergency callHenri van Breda helped court staff to set up speakers on Wednesday so his triple-murder trial could hear the emergency call he made. 

In the call‚ made around 7.30am on January 27‚ 2015 — several hours after he is accused of killing his parents‚ Martin and Teresa‚ and his elder brother Rudi — Van Breda said they had been attacked with an axe.

He made no reference to his own injuries‚ and when asked if he was a patient he said no.

He described landmarks near De Zalze estate in Stellenbosch such as the Eikestad shopping mall and Jamestown.

There was confusion on the part of the emergency services about where the estate was‚ and the call lasted 20 minutes.

"Anybody else in that situation‚" said Janine Philander‚ who took the call‚ would have been shouting and panicking and saying they were going to phone someone else for help because it was taking so long to locate the address.

"He offered to wait in a different street and that also threw me‚" she said. "Normally someone would demand that help comes to them at the scene immediately."

  • 'I thought it was a prank call': Ambulance dispatcher tells Van Breda trial of Henri's 'giggle'Henri van Breda's behaviour when he called the emergency services was so atypical of a witness to murder that the responder on the other end of the line was convinced it was a prank call. 

It sounded unbelievable‚" she said‚ describing the disconnect between what he was telling her and how he was saying it.

"My sister is still moving‚" he said without a trace of emotion after saying his family members had "head injuries".

She added that people normally ask in a panic for advice. Defense counsel Piet Botha objected‚ saying it was merely "Philander's opinion".

On Tuesday‚ Philander said the call centre received around 100 calls a day. The state argues that their expertise in the "norm" is therefore reliable and accurate.

Philander told the court she had been convinced it was a prank call because Van Breda was so calm.

  • Massive argument broke silence of De Zalze on night of van Breda murders‚ neighbour tells courtA massive‚ noisy shouting match took place in the van Breda family home in Stellenbosch in the hours leading up to the killing spree there. 

“He was a bit hesitant and a made a sound like a giggle and I thought it was a prank‚” she said.

“The normal reaction for a home invasion and assault of this nature is that people are frantic‚ shouting‚ screaming‚ in tears ... He wasn't anxious or agitated or any other such thing; he was just cool and calm.”