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Van Breda trial: Operator explains why she thought call was a prank

The emergency call centre operator who took Henri van Breda’s call after the De Zalze family axe murders initially did not believe him.

Triple murder accused, Henri van Breda, enters the Western Cape High Court. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The emergency call centre operator who took Henri van Breda’s call after the De Zalze family axe murders initially did not believe him.

Janine Philander says they are inundated with pranks and that’s what she thought it was.

The 22-year-old is accused of killing his parents and older brother, and the attempted murder of his younger sister, in January 2015 but he says an intruder was responsible.

City of Cape Town emergency call centre operator Philander testified between September 2016 and February 2017 they received more 35,000 prank calls.

She was explaining why she did not at first believe what Van Breda was saying in his call on the morning after the attack.

Philander said he sounded hesitant and calm, and that she thought she heard him giggling.

The defence said he did not giggle and Judge Seraj Desai added that he too did not hear a giggle, but a noise instead.

Advocate Pieter Botha also accused Philander of trying to create an impression that Van Breda was not a victim.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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