Former best friend weeps as Henri van Breda is found guilty
Marli van Breda's ex-boyfriend Stefan van der Westhuizen was one of three people who wept in court on Monday when Henri van Breda was convicted of the murder of his parents and brother and attempted murder of Marli‚ his sister.
Van der Westhuizen said he was happy about the judgment‚ even though he and Henri were good friends at one stage.
"I think in certain verdicts people's opinions matter. Like my opinion might be different than other people's opinions‚ and I think I'm happy about the outcome. But we'll see in two weeks with the postponement how it will be‚" said Van der Westhuizen.
"(Henri) was a good friend of mine for a year - more than a year - and he was actually my best friend. It was very emotional for me to see him in that state and I felt very sorry for him‚" he said outside the Cape Town High Court‚ his eyes still red from crying.
He reiterated that he was very happy with the judgment.
Although the possibility of multiple life sentences would have already weighed heavily on his defence team‚ who meticulously scrutinised and jotted down notes after every word spoken by Judge Siraj Desai‚ Van Breda did not slump when police cuffed his hands and led him to the cells below the court.
He also took his time‚ resisting a shove from a police officer to say something to his girlfriend Daniella‚ who was visibly distraught after the proceedings.
The only other person whose visual pain reflected the tragedy of the Van Breda case was an elderly lady in a bright purple jersey. She sat in the gallery with her eyes fixed on Henri. As a mother‚ the lady who asked not to be named‚ said she was saddened by the judgment.
"I just felt very cold. The thought of someone like that going to life imprisonment was heavy‚ and watching the two attorneys really put up a fight‚ especially advocate [Piet] Botha - he really fought for him you know‚ to try and keep him out of custody‚" she said.
Henri van Breda was found guilty on all counts against him. Here’s the moment Judge Desai found Van Breda guilty.
"It was very sad. All judge Desai's points‚ at one stage it would look like he's possibly coming off with this‚ it was like walking a tight rope‚" she said. “I felt for him you know‚ I'm a mother‚ I felt for him.”
Like most of the people in court on Monday‚ for her there were more questions than answers regarding the motive for the attack.
"I just don't understand how you can do that to your family‚" she said. "Why? A young man... Why did he do that‚ how did he think he was going to get away?" she said.
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