Van Breda murder trial: Emergency call centre operator thought call a prank

Janine Philander responded the call made by Van Breda on 27 January 2015, the morning after the triple axe murder at his family home.

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

CAPE TOWN - An emergency call centre operator says she initially thought a call for assistance by murder accused Henri van Breda was a prank.

Janine Philander responded the call made by Van Breda on 27 January 2015, the morning after the triple axe murder at his family home.

The 22-year-old is currently on trial in the Western Cape High Court in connection with the murders of his parents, older brother and the attempted murder of his younger sister.

He pleaded not guilty and claims that an axe-wielding man attacked his family.

Janine Philander testified that Van Breda sounded hesitant when he phoned for an ambulance.

The witness told the court she had also heard what sounded like a giggle.

She says in a normal reaction to home invasion or assault, the person on the other end of the line would normally be frantic, shouting and confused.

But the 22-year-old was calm and cooperative.

A recording of the emergency call will be played in court on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a witness who lived near the Van Breda family at the time of the triple axe murder, has told the court she heard what sounded like men arguing coming from the family's home on the night of the attack.

The defence, however, insists that Stephanie Op’t-Hof heard the sounds of a film the family had been watching that evening.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)