Van Breda trial: Court hears of Balaclava Gang operating in Stellenbosch

In his plea explanation, Henri van Breda claims that a balaclava-clad, axe-wielding intruder attacked his family.

FILE: Triple murder accused Henri van Breda in the Western Cape High Court on 24 April, 2017. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The advocate defending triple murder accused Henri van Breda says criminals labelled as the Balaclava Gang had been targeting Stellenbosch homes at around the same time that his parents and brother were killed.

The cross-examination of the first police officer to arrive on the crime scene continued in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

Van Breda is accused of killing his parents and older brother at their De Zalze Estate home in Stellenbosch more than two years ago.

In his plea explanation, van Breda claims that a balaclava-clad, axe-wielding intruder attacked his family.

While Sergeant Adrian Kleynhans had testified it would have been impossible for intruders to gain access, the defence has demonstrated that security breaches aren't impossible.

Defence advocate Pieter Botha raised the issue of the gang that had robbed several homes around Stellenbosch around the time of the triple murders in 2015.

The defence indicated that from 2002 until the date of the attack, there had been 24 burglaries at the De Zalze Estate.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)