Van Breda trial: Defence will argue hair analysis ‘misleading’

The defence has accused state witness Henry Steward, who conducted analysis on sealed hair samples from the crime scene, of lying.

Triple murder accused Henri van Breda. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The defence in the Van Breda family axe murder trial intends arguing the testimony of a police hair analysis expert is misleading.

Henri van Breda is charged with killing his parents and older brother and severely wounding his younger sister in their Stellenbosch home in January 2015.

The 22-year-old has pleaded not guilty and says an intruder was responsible.

State witness Henry Steward works for the South African Police Service’s forensic laboratory.

He conducted analysis on sealed hair samples from the crime scene.

Steward says that at the time, he did not know who the hair belonged to or who the suspect was.

But the defence's Peter Botha disputed this and accused the witness of lying.

The defence read out an instructing letter Steward received from a colonel stationed in Stellenbosch in 2015 which confirms the murder investigation.

The van Breda family is named in the letter.

Steward, however, maintains he did not go through the letter and did not know whose hair he was working with.