'Marli & Henri will always be psychologically haunted by incident'

Marli van Breda (16) and her brother survived the attack at their luxury Stellenbosch home in January.

FILE: Marli van Breda. Picture: Instagram/marli_vanbreda

CAPE TOWN - A leading South African trauma specialist believes those who witnessed three family members being killed will always be haunted psychologically by the brutal incident.

Eyewitness News (EWN) spoke to Doctor Merle Friedman about the psychological effects on two Stellenbosch youngsters following the triple axe murders at the De Zalze Estate.

Sixteen-year-old Marli van Breda and her 20-year- old brother, Henri, survived the attack at their luxury Stellenbosch home at the end of January.

Their parents and older brother were all murdered.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) last week told EWN the investigation is at a crucial stage but no arrests have been made.

Friedman said survivors who have witnessed brutal murders will suffer with various problems.

"Retrograde amnesia usually has to do with the event itself. Usually people are not able to remember what happened in the traumatic event and they might have memory disturbances around what led up to the traumatic event."

Friedman said it's common for people who have sustained severe head injuries to suffer with retrograde amnesia.

The psychologist adds while it is difficult to say how long it will take, Van Breda will eventually be able to remember what happened on the night of the attack.