Lone survivor Marli van Breda was close to murder accused, brother Henri

Marli van Breda was seriously wounded, while her parents and older brother were killed, in the attack for which her brother Henri is standing trial.

The Van Breda family pictured before the attack. Picture: Facebook.

CAPE TOWN – In the trial of family axe murder accused Henri van Breda, his sister's ex-boyfriend has described her relationship with her brothers as a close and loving one.

Marli van Breda was seriously wounded in the attack, while her parents and older brother were killed.

The 22-year-old accused is on trial for the attack, but he claims an intruder was responsible.

James Reade-Jahn used to date Marli van Breda and says he was close to the family and visited their De Zalze home at least twice a week.

When prosecutor Susan Galloway questioned him about his ex-girlfriend's relationship with her brothers, he said she had a close bond with both.

Reade-Jahn says Van Breda looked up to them and often asked them for advice, whether it be about academics or sport.

The accused fought back tears while listening to the description of his relationship with his siblings.

Reade-Jahn, who had a De Zalze access card, says he became worried when he did not see Marli at school on 27 January and she did not answer his texts.

He says he'd found out about the attacks from his mother after he had asked her to go to the Van Breda's house using his access card.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)