Van Breda snoozes as defence proceeds

10 October 2017 - 06:42 By Tanya Farber
Henri van Breda dozed off in the dock in the high court in Cape Town on Monday.
Henri van Breda dozed off in the dock in the high court in Cape Town on Monday.
Image: Anthony Molyneaux

Freshly sheared but with his cowlick fringe still in place, Henri van Breda dozed off in the dock in the Cape Town High Court on Monday as he listened to the drawn-out testimony of his defence's DNA expert, Dr Antonel Olckers.

Van Breda is on trial for the gruesome murder of his parents and brother, and the attempted murder of his sister, Marli, at their luxury home at the De Zalze estate in Stellenbosch in January 2015.

This was the first day of the defence leading evidence-in-chief after more than 40 days of the state doing so before a short break.

Olckers, who heads up DNAbiotec, was questioned by Matthys Combrink for the defence.

She described how over 1,900 documents had been handed to her for analysis.

Olckers claimed that the SAPS forensic laboratory that tested DNA samples from the axe murders scene did not follow all the right procedures.

This comes several weeks after Lieutenant Colonel Sharlene Otto - with her signature no-nonsense style in the witness stand - testified that DNA from Van Breda's mother Teresa and his brother Rudi were found on scrapings of his fingernails and in bloodstains on his shorts, and that "no unknown DNA was found on the crime scene".

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