‘Marli van Breda put up biggest fight against attacker’

A pathologist has told the court the extent of the injuries on Marli van Breda’s extremities & hands are indicative of self-defence wounds.

FILE: Henri van Breda awaits judgment in the Western Cape High Court on 21 May 2018. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN

WESTERN CAPE HIGH COURT - A pathologist who worked on the Van Breda family axe murders case says Marli van Breda put up the biggest fight against the attacker.

Twenty-two-year-old Henri van Breda is accused of killing his parents and older brother, and seriously wounding his younger sister in their De Zalze home in Stellenbosch in January 2015.

He claims an intruder was responsible.

Dr Daphne Anthony is testifying in the Western Cape High Court in the murder trial of Henri van Breda.

Anthony has told the court the extent of the injuries on Marli van Breda’s extremities and hands are indicative of self-defence wounds.

Anthony says based on the wounds, it's likely she put up a severe struggle against her attacker.

The expert witness says Rudi and Teresa van Breda also have defence wounds on their hands, showing they tried to block blows to their heads.

She says Martin van Breda did not have any defence wounds, which means he could’ve been caught unaware from behind.

Anthony says Rudi and Martin van Breda both had blood in their stomachs, which indicates they were alive for a while after the blows to their heads.


A court has heard Henri van Breda’s older brother tried to move around in his bedroom after suffering fatal blows to his head.

Judge Siraj Desai asked Anthony why Rudi van Breda would be lying on the floor of the bedroom he shared with the accused if he was allegedly attacked while in his bed.

Anthony said it’s possible he could’ve moved himself off the bed towards the door or the attacker could’ve moved him.

In pictures of the crime scene, blood is smeared across the bedroom floor.

The expert witness has told the court the deceased in question sustained the most severe injuries, followed by his father and then his mother.

The doctor says it’s likely the father and son suffered before succumbing to their head injuries.

It's believed the accused's mother, Teresa van Breda, died instantly following blows to her head.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)